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The Simulation Argument

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Smuft   Canada. Jun 10 2016 01:54. Posts 633

news headlines always grab your attention on this one by opening with "Are we living in a computer simulation?"

It's got some attention recently because Elon Musk saying we most likely do:




This is at least a 13 year old idea written originally by Nick Bostrom in 2003, here is a video of him giving a much more in depth explanation of the argument than Musk:




What do the thinkers of LP think? Is the argument valid? If so, how likely is it that we are living in a simulation?

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soberstone   United States. Jun 10 2016 02:10. Posts 2662

Matrix gonna Matrix


soberstone   United States. Jun 10 2016 02:22. Posts 2662

The mind-fuck of it is that essentially what he's saying is that theoretically, according to the simulation argument, the moment we mature to the point where we could run such a simulation and choose to do so, is the very moment that it is 100 percent sure that we ourselves are in a simulation.

The flaw that I see in the argument is that there would have to be a first, real/non-simulated reality, and there is no way to prove that we aren't the first. It's just infinitely unlikely, but not impossible.

I'm sure he's accounted for that which is why he says "almost all" instead of "all" civilizations.

 Last edit: 10/06/2016 02:25

tomson    Poland. Jun 10 2016 03:30. Posts 1982

A couple of counter-arguments I have come up with:

1. In the future there would have to be some kind of point to create such simulations. It could be the case that by the time we are able to create such simulations they would not provide us with any more insight.

2. There would have to be extremely many simulations running (the more there are the more likely it is we are in one). Again - there might not be a point to do that many.

3. If at this point of our evolution we find the idea of creating a simulation where there would be sentient beings unaware that they are not real unsettling I can only hope that in the future we will have even higher ethical standards. Especially since I'm sure future technology will provide a multitude of moral dilemmas.

4. To expand on the ethical issue of creating such a simulation - the possibility of the beings figuring out they are inside a simulation makes it a lot more disturbing. Unless you rig it in a way where they can never prove it, but placing such a caveat inside the simulation may beat the purpose of it.

Peace of mind cant be bought. 

shootair   United States. Jun 10 2016 03:46. Posts 430

OP, you ask: How likely is it that we are living in a simulation?
Ans: About the same as the ratio of two unicorns and a pound of cabbage last tuesday.
But there some theories just as ridiculous that are, in fact, believed to be true by many people.


Stroggoz   New Zealand. Jun 10 2016 04:41. Posts 4886

The argument is extremely speculative and optimistic. Yet he (Elon Musk) says it is one in a billion that we are living in reality.. Ok, you cannot express that much certainty without making the argument scientific, predictive, ect. Here it is just speculation. His confidence is completely unjustified.

There is a theoretical field called digital physics which attempts to show that the laws of physics is mathematically isomorphic to information in computer science. So in other words we can theorize the universe as a Turing machine and simulate it on that. But this is far away from anything like a simulated reality.

supposed to have greenstar not braceletLast edit: 10/06/2016 04:54

Smuft   Canada. Jun 10 2016 04:44. Posts 633


  On June 10 2016 02:30 tomson wrote:
A couple of counter-arguments I have come up with:

1. In the future there would have to be some kind of point to create such simulations. It could be the case that by the time we are able to create such simulations they would not provide us with any more insight.

2. There would have to be extremely many simulations running (the more there are the more likely it is we are in one). Again - there might not be a point to do that many.

3. If at this point of our evolution we find the idea of creating a simulation where there would be sentient beings unaware that they are not real unsettling I can only hope that in the future we will have even higher ethical standards. Especially since I'm sure future technology will provide a multitude of moral dilemmas.

4. To expand on the ethical issue of creating such a simulation - the possibility of the beings figuring out they are inside a simulation makes it a lot more disturbing. Unless you rig it in a way where they can never prove it, but placing such a caveat inside the simulation may beat the purpose of it.



Interesting arguments.

1. I think as time goes on you're right there would be less and less interest in creating such simulations. But it'll also get easier to run sims as time goes on and computing power increases even further; ie. at first only the futuristic version of google can do it, then the top 5 tech groups can do it, then wide commercial use, then enthusiasts and finally average people. Not to say that the same economic model will exist at that time but there will be some similar effect where it's first available to the few and then available to the many as the technology and computing resources improve.

How many simulated people will there be vs non-simulated people at a point it's available to the many? Then if you agree that the time scale the simulated exist on can be sped up to the point where you could watch an entire simulated universe unfold in a short time (minutes, days, weeks) from the time of the big bang until however it ends (or from the evolution of modern humans until our extinction), now how many simulated vs non-simulated?

IMO Musk's estimation of "one in billions" was too generous, it could be some orders of magnitude more (provided we get to to the point we are capable of this technology).

2. This one is interesting. Usually when studying things we'd rather have more data than less right? So I would lean heavily on the side of many simulations being run. Similarly to #1 I think we'd at least run a lot of simulations at first and then run less as we farmed all the knowledge from them.

re: 3/4 - I've considered the morality issue we might have when capable of this technology but I think it would not be enough to deter us because what horrible reality would we really be subjecting these sentient beings to? Life based on the laws of our universe? Is that really so bad? Sure there will be a lot of pain and suffering but not much more than what life on this planet has already experienced up to this point. Maybe some future hippies might argue against running such simulations with this morality argument but ultimately it wouldn't be enough to stop us.

---

I think most of your arguments are actually consistent with the simulation argument, they are just arguments for proposition 2 "The fraction of posthuman civilizations that are interested in running ancestor-simulations is very close to zero"

In the end this isn't a verifiable problem, if we accept the argument is sound, we can only assign our personal probabilities to each proposition. After reading Tomson's arguments I'll assign a few tenths of a percentage point more to proposition 2 than before


Smuft   Canada. Jun 10 2016 04:55. Posts 633


  On June 10 2016 02:46 shootair wrote:
OP, you ask: How likely is it that we are living in a simulation?
Ans: About the same as the ratio of two unicorns and a pound of cabbage last tuesday.
But there some theories just as ridiculous that are, in fact, believed to be true by many people.



If you think there is close to 0% probability then you are saying the argument isn't sound. What is the flaw in the argument?


  On June 10 2016 03:41 Stroggoz wrote:
The argument is extremely speculative and optimistic. Yet he (Elon Musk) says it is one in a billion that we are living in reality.. Ok, you cannot express that much certainty without making the argument scientific, predictive, ect. Here it is just speculation. His confidence is completely unjustified.





If you just watched the Elon Musk clip you're missing a lot of information. He emphasized he's spent "A LOT" of time thinking about this more than once and to the point he had to ban it as a conversation topic in some situations because it sounds like it was getting out of hand. Mr. Musk is no fish, he's probably one of the greatest inventor, businessman, smart dudes, etc. of our time and maybe all time, when he has something to say that you don't agree with it's probably worth looking into quite seriously before discrediting.

Here it is in scientific form by Nick Bostrom:

http://www.simulation-argument.com/simulation.pdf

I don't recommend that format though, it's pretty dull to read. I'd watch Bostrom's video in the OP instead.


Stroggoz   New Zealand. Jun 10 2016 05:09. Posts 4886

The increase in computing power is probably irrelevant imo, unless someone proves NP=P, but that's pretty unlikely and most mathematicians think NP doesn't equal P.

That is, there would be many problems in the universe that are 'NP-Complete', without getting into the technical math jargon behind this, these problems are ones which are too difficult for a computer to solve given that the problem is complex enough. Many of these exist in reality. However if someone proves that they can be reduced to polynomial time complexity (P), then they can be solved by a computer easily enough.

But this doesn't even get us started. Reality has a lot of complex phenomena, things outside of maths, physics, chemistry, and biology which are too hard to understand and encode as inputs into turing machines.

supposed to have greenstar not bracelet 

Stroggoz   New Zealand. Jun 10 2016 05:41. Posts 4886


  On June 10 2016 03:55 Smuft wrote:
Show nested quote +




  On June 10 2016 03:41 Stroggoz wrote:
The argument is extremely speculative and optimistic. Yet he (Elon Musk) says it is one in a billion that we are living in reality.. Ok, you cannot express that much certainty without making the argument scientific, predictive, ect. Here it is just speculation. His confidence is completely unjustified.





If you just watched the Elon Musk clip you're missing a lot of information. He emphasized he's spent "A LOT" of time thinking about this more than once and to the point he had to ban it as a conversation topic in some situations because it sounds like it was getting out of hand. Mr. Musk is no fish, he's probably one of the greatest inventor, businessman, smart dudes, etc. of our time and maybe all time, when he has something to say that you don't agree with it's probably worth looking into quite seriously before discrediting.




I was being generous.

I havn't studied the topic a lot, but i have understanding of mathematics and philosophy so i can contribute. I listened to his short argument and gave a simple critique, i don't care about weather he was an inventor, businessman or smart dude. That means very little to me. I'm only interested in the content of his argument and weather it holds up or not. You should assume that everyone is wrong until they give good evidence to the contrary anyway.

supposed to have greenstar not braceletLast edit: 10/06/2016 05:41

Nazgul    Netherlands. Jun 10 2016 06:25. Posts 7079


  On June 10 2016 03:55 Smuft wrote:
Show nested quote +



If you think there is close to 0% probability then you are saying the argument isn't sound. What is the flaw in the argument?


  On June 10 2016 03:41 Stroggoz wrote:
The argument is extremely speculative and optimistic. Yet he (Elon Musk) says it is one in a billion that we are living in reality.. Ok, you cannot express that much certainty without making the argument scientific, predictive, ect. Here it is just speculation. His confidence is completely unjustified.





If you just watched the Elon Musk clip you're missing a lot of information. He emphasized he's spent "A LOT" of time thinking about this more than once and to the point he had to ban it as a conversation topic in some situations because it sounds like it was getting out of hand. Mr. Musk is no fish, he's probably one of the greatest inventor, businessman, smart dudes, etc. of our time and maybe all time, when he has something to say that you don't agree with it's probably worth looking into quite seriously before discrediting.

Here it is in scientific form by Nick Bostrom:

http://www.simulation-argument.com/simulation.pdf

I don't recommend that format though, it's pretty dull to read. I'd watch Bostrom's video in the OP instead.

I really like Musk and honestly would hope that he becomes bigger and more powerful, but this opposite evidence request is no different from saying "we don't know how to explain XYZ so prove me wrong that God doesn't exist". I hear nothing in his argument that would make me think he is on to something. It's an interesting bar discussion for me and not much more.

You almost twin-caracked his AK - JonnyCosmoLast edit: 10/06/2016 06:25

Baalim   Mexico. Jun 10 2016 07:49. Posts 33875

Musk is wrong it isnt billions to one.. the odds are 50/50... we either are in a simulation or arent.

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Baalim   Mexico. Jun 10 2016 07:50. Posts 33875

I remember reading about a definite rebuttal to the simulation theory... was it Laurence Krauss? cant remember well or even the argument but it had something to do with the resolution, anyone have any clue what Im talking about?

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Smuft   Canada. Jun 10 2016 07:57. Posts 633


  On June 10 2016 04:09 Stroggoz wrote:
The increase in computing power is probably irrelevant imo, unless someone proves NP=P, but that's pretty unlikely and most mathematicians think NP doesn't equal P.

That is, there would be many problems in the universe that are 'NP-Complete', without getting into the technical math jargon behind this, these problems are ones which are too difficult for a computer to solve given that the problem is complex enough. Many of these exist in reality. However if someone proves that they can be reduced to polynomial time complexity (P), then they can be solved by a computer easily enough.

But this doesn't even get us started. Reality has a lot of complex phenomena, things outside of maths, physics, chemistry, and biology which are too hard to understand and encode as inputs into turing machines.



So you apply a higher probability to proposition #1? "The fraction of human-level civilizations that reach a posthuman stage (that is, one capable of running high-fidelity ancestor simulations) is very close to zero"

Do you think there is a hard cap on our understanding of any of the things you listed? If not, then won't we get there one day? Whether it's 100 years or 1 million?


Smuft   Canada. Jun 10 2016 08:25. Posts 633


  On June 10 2016 05:25 Nazgul wrote:
Show nested quote +


I really like Musk and honestly would hope that he becomes bigger and more powerful, but this opposite evidence request is no different from saying "we don't know how to explain XYZ so prove me wrong that God doesn't exist". I hear nothing in his argument that would make me think he is on to something. It's an interesting bar discussion for me and not much more.



Musk isn't asking for backwards evidence, he's presenting an argument and asking if it's valid or not. Is there some inherent problem with the argument that prevents it from being true? Also you really need to look at a more sophisticated presentation of the argument, Musk's simplified version is missing some important pieces and is more fit for a quick CNN type headline.

I linked some better explanations itt, here is a cut and pasted version that's simple and also good enough to get the main points across:

-------

Bostrom's trilemma: "the simulation argument"

In 2003, philosopher Nick Bostrom proposed a trilemma that he called "the simulation argument". Despite the name, Bostrom's "simulation argument" does not directly argue that we live in a simulation; instead, Bostrom's trilemma argues that one of three unlikely-seeming propositions must be true. The trilemma points out that a technologically mature "posthuman" civilization would have enormous computing power; if even a tiny percentage of them were to run "ancestor simulations" (that is, "high-fidelity" simulations of ancestral life that would be indistinguishable from reality to the simulated ancestor), the total number of simulated ancestors, or "Sims", in the universe (or multiverse, if it exists) would greatly exceed the total number of actual ancestors. Therefore, at least one of the following three propositions is almost certainly true:

1. "The fraction of human-level civilizations that reach a posthuman stage (that is, one capable of running high-fidelity ancestor simulations) is very close to zero", or
2. "The fraction of posthuman civilizations that are interested in running ancestor-simulations is very close to zero", or
3. "The fraction of all people with our kind of experiences that are living in a simulation is very close to one"


Nazgul    Netherlands. Jun 10 2016 10:36. Posts 7079


  On June 10 2016 07:25 Smuft wrote:
Musk isn't asking for backwards evidence, he's presenting an argument and asking if it's valid or not. Is there some inherent problem with the argument that prevents it from being true? Also you really need to look at a more sophisticated presentation of the argument, Musk's simplified version is missing some important pieces and is more fit for a quick CNN type headline.


He isn't presenting an argument then asking if it's valid or not. You seem to imply that he isn't certain about the topic just because he finished his view with a question. Just because he phrases a question at the end of his reasoning and asks if the reasoning is valid doesn't take away the fact that he states there's a 1 in billion chance that he's wrong. You can't both say there's a 1 in billion chance that X and then pretend like you presented a neutral line of thinking that can still go either way. I watched the other youtube video you linked as well and really don't see the line of thinking that would give them the confidence that this would be a simulation. I don't think any of his argument shows why it would exist, it is just taking technological advancement and then taking a huge leap of basically living in the matrix. I'm too much of a skeptic to actually believe that is the case.

There's plenty of logical reasoning to be had for it such as I don't actually believe technology can create what we're living in (not in 10,000 years either). I can write a bunch of pages just on that point and why I feel that way. This to me is comparable to the idea of traveling at speed of light, something I also don't believe in ever not now and not in 10,000 years. Additionally the ethical implications of putting billions of minds or ai's into a simulation is completely fucked up and would mean that humanity only evolved backwards with its ethics. I also have no idea what the purpose of such a simulation would be besides just fucking with us. More than anything though I don't think there's much point to the argument for me because I think it is just a fancy new age psychological point of reasoning that seems fancy just for the sake of it and is impossible to ever be proven correct (and in that sense it is much like god).

You almost twin-caracked his AK - JonnyCosmoLast edit: 10/06/2016 10:42

Spitfiree   Bulgaria. Jun 10 2016 10:41. Posts 9520

A system being able to generate such amount of data as the observable universe seems highly improbable to me ( its not just the visual stuff but waves and detectable energy and etc etc. ) . Then again we're talking about the indefinite future.

@Stroggoz those things you are mentioning are the only variables that make the existence of a AI still improbable, but if all the pioneers of our time say that the AI will be created, then I'd take a look into history and agree with them as pioneers almost always end up right about advance of technology.


Nazgul    Netherlands. Jun 10 2016 10:49. Posts 7079

Do you think the simulation started with the big bang theory or what is their starting point?

You almost twin-caracked his AK - JonnyCosmo 

Stroggoz   New Zealand. Jun 10 2016 11:03. Posts 4886


  On June 10 2016 09:41 Spitfiree wrote:
A system being able to generate such amount of data as the observable universe seems highly improbable to me ( its not just the visual stuff but waves and detectable energy and etc etc. ) . Then again we're talking about the indefinite future.

@Stroggoz those things you are mentioning are the only variables that make the existence of a AI still improbable, but if all the pioneers of our time say that the AI will be created, then I'd take a look into history and agree with them as pioneers almost always end up right about advance of technology.



That's not the case that pioneers are almost always right about the advance of technology.

You can pick out people who were right from history and those who were wrong. History tells you a lot of things. AI happens to have an appalling record of getting it wrong over and over, even from the most intelligent people. There have been people who thought the human mind could be emulated from: 16th century clockwork, telegraph wires, and with the cognitive revolution in the 1950's there were AI researchers at MIT who thought we would have strong AI by the 1980's with computer chips, and they were in the majority.

Here's a wiki on history of A.I, doesn't include much before the 20th century. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_artificial_intelligence#The_optimism

supposed to have greenstar not braceletLast edit: 10/06/2016 11:13

austrian oak   Belgium. Jun 10 2016 11:05. Posts 520

Lol deities. Back to intelligent design I guess.

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Nazgul    Netherlands. Jun 10 2016 11:30. Posts 7079

Will we create a simulation inside this simulation? How many simulations deep are we? Infinite?

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scriber   . Jun 10 2016 11:43. Posts 299


FMLuser   Canada. Jun 10 2016 11:55. Posts 45

I think its important to actually look at his paper then to just watch the video to understand the full argument. In his paper there are several premises that are unstated in the video. One being the assumption of substrate-independence and the physical limitations of building a "computer" powerful enough to run a simulation that would be indistinguishable for a real reality.

http://www.simulation-argument.com/simulation.pdf

After looking into computational power there seems to be physical limitations in making say a "planet sized" computer that would be capable of running a simulation. However these principles are simply way to complex form my understanding of physics to make a judgement on if a "planet sized" computer would be possible or even effective.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landauer%27s_principle
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bekenstein_bound
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bremermann%27s_limit

This Limit is actually very close to what Bostrom estimated for the amount of computational power needed
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margolus%E2%80%93Levitin_theorem

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-cloning_theorem

I think it would be easier for a civilization that reached this level to just send some seed dna to a habitable planet and watched what happened.


Meat   . Jun 10 2016 14:43. Posts 3383


  On June 10 2016 10:30 Nazgul wrote:
Will we create a simulation inside this simulation? How many simulations deep are we? Infinite?


Well I can see two logical ways to get to the one in a billion number. Unless there is evidence presented that this is actually one of the simulations, then there obviously need to be 1 billion simulations. Otherwise the odds would be bigger.
Or we need to loop the simulations, our simulation will simulate the simulation that is going to simulate us. Everything is a simulation and there is just a 1 billionth chance it not being true.


Stroggoz   New Zealand. Jun 10 2016 14:56. Posts 4886

^ I read the first paper.

One of the biggest problems and it's glaringly obvious, is that we don't actually understand very well how the universe works, especially anything that is more complex than maths and physics. We would need to understand all of this before creating a simulation of it. He didn't address this, his argument went off the assumption that post humanism is possible in the next 100,000 years.

I'm not sure how well he knows mathematics but you would need a computer bigger than the universe to calculate very basic problems, like examining weather a 100 long conjuction of propositions if its true or not would take 2^100 calculations. His earth sized computer only does 10^42. Not that i think this particular objection is an important one.

supposed to have greenstar not braceletLast edit: 10/06/2016 15:01

JohnnyBologna   United States. Jun 10 2016 15:36. Posts 1401

Our lives are computers games programmed by other future super people? Gtfo.

The other two parts of this 'theory' is what? We will get advanced enough to make our lives a computer simulation but wont care to do so? So its possible! Lets talk about what else is possible when we use our imaginations.

Third, civilizations die before they can makes simulation worlds? Wow what eye opening logic.

No offense, but this sounds like science nerds trying to make their own religion in explaining how the world was made.

Just do whats right bro 

Daut    United States. Jun 10 2016 17:22. Posts 8950

Apparently when you are a genius billionaire you don't have to adhere to math or logic. Also think his certainty shows a level of psychopathy: he is trivializing the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of other people on this planet and is projecting his lack of empathy on the world.

But my answer to this is generally the same as it is to free will arguments: we can't know and from our perspective it does not matter.

NewbSaibot: 18 TIMES THE SPEED OF LIGHT. Because FUCK YOU, DautLast edit: 10/06/2016 17:23

Smuft   Canada. Jun 10 2016 17:29. Posts 633

The way I see us eventually running this kind of simulation is not some cartoonish way like video games but the way most practical simulations are run, you program in some laws, enter in some inputs/parameters, hit go and observe/collect data.

In this case it's just much more complex. The laws of the simulations are more or less the laws of the universe (they don't necessarily need to be the exact same as the laws of the universe, they could be an abstraction to simplify and/or save computational resources) obviously we are not there yet but I don't see any reason that our computational ability would just hit a wall that we'd never get passed.

The parameters could be slightly changing some of the physics compared our reality (or the simulators reality) and seeing how it effects things. On a smaller scale maybe changing some event in history and running the simulation from that point on, what would it change? On a larger scale what if we ran things from the big bang with more or less of certain elements/particles, would intelligent life form more or less often?


Smuft   Canada. Jun 10 2016 17:45. Posts 633


  On June 10 2016 16:22 Daut wrote:
Apparently when you are a genius billionaire you don't have to adhere to math or logic. Also think his certainty shows a level of psychopathy: he is trivializing the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of other people on this planet and is projecting his lack of empathy on the world.

But my answer to this is generally the same as it is to free will arguments: we can't know and from our perspective it does not matter.



won't our human thoughts, feelings, and emotions be trivilialized one day?

I can't think of any recent relevant examples of advances in psychology or neuroscience atm but we've come pretty far haven't we? Where will our understanding be in 100 or 1000 years if that rate of advancement continues?




uiCk   Canada. Jun 10 2016 18:08. Posts 3521

I don't particularly care about elon musk, but this Nick Bostrom is quite interesting.

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ReSpOnSe   United States. Jun 10 2016 18:57. Posts 405

I'd probably feel like I was living in a video game too if I was a billionaire.


soberstone   United States. Jun 10 2016 20:25. Posts 2662


  On June 10 2016 17:57 ReSpOnSe wrote:
I'd probably feel like I was living in a video game too if I was a billionaire.



lol +1


whamm!   Albania. Jun 11 2016 00:34. Posts 11625

Try to be in the moment for once, and be aware of all your faculties. It does feel so much like a game when you really remove everything else distracting you. It really feels weird and at times growing up I felt uncomfortable thinking about it and just choose to distract myself lol
Life feels like one big movie because everybody else dies off to some weird event yet you feel so safe almost always

 Last edit: 11/06/2016 00:36

traxamillion   United States. Jun 11 2016 01:37. Posts 10468


  On June 10 2016 17:57 ReSpOnSe wrote:
I'd probably feel like I was living in a video game too if I was a billionaire.



Haha, bink


traxamillion   United States. Jun 11 2016 01:41. Posts 10468

So how makes this sim? Some version of humanity that didn't kill itself off? Unlikely. Would have to be some other entities with knowledge of the entire universe which means they would have to observe space beyond the limits of our observable universe, which would take a lot of time and through evolution similar to ours it is unlikely they get there before the expansion of space itself causes heat death etc. So we again arrive to super deities and godlike beings i.e. intelligent design


traxamillion   United States. Jun 11 2016 01:56. Posts 10468

This premise is similar to Frank Herbert's Destination Void and the next 3 books in the Pandora series. With the godship and multiple rewrites of history


traxamillion   United States. Jun 11 2016 02:11. Posts 10468

The sim would have to map more than neurons in the brain to create consciousness. Like in theories of quantum entanglement teleportation it would have to map down to the subatomic level (plank lengths even) and get every quantum spin correct etc. Just an unfathomable amount of data to do this for the entire universe (of which we can only observe a part of the whole, maybe an infinitely small fraction, that bit from which light has travelled to our position since the big bang). Think these guys are over estimating computers especially as we know them.


Santafairy   Korea (South). Jun 11 2016 02:20. Posts 1978

this is one of the few things he says that i think is not that grounded

the first thing i thought is that even though there should be many simulations, intelligent life might be so stupefyingly rare that nobody ever makes it that far. we don't know.

the second thing i thought is that well, going from "crysis looks good" to simulating universes is actually not that obvious. and is it supposed to be autonomous or is someone interfaced with it, like maybe my life was someone playing a game on his google glass for 5 minutes in the next level up simulation and the rest of you are NPCs. leaves the door open for solipsism.

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Baalim   Mexico. Jun 11 2016 03:06. Posts 33875


  On June 10 2016 16:22 Daut wrote:
Apparently when you are a genius billionaire you don't have to adhere to math or logic. Also think his certainty shows a level of psychopathy: he is trivializing the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of other people on this planet and is projecting his lack of empathy on the world.

But my answer to this is generally the same as it is to free will arguments: we can't know and from our perspective it does not matter.



Also its easy to believe its all a simulation arguing it like a game type of thing from the perspective of a a billionare wizard having a great time, lets see how a starving family in africa feel their life is a simulated game.... worst game ever... probably EA published it.

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whamm!   Albania. Jun 11 2016 14:06. Posts 11625

lol true. But what if my simulation is independent from yours and those starving people in africa are just holograms to keep me from being depressed about my own existence?

 Last edit: 11/06/2016 14:07

Baalim   Mexico. Jun 11 2016 17:40. Posts 33875


  On June 11 2016 13:06 whamm! wrote:
lol true. But what if my simulation is independent from yours and those starving people in africa are just holograms to keep me from being depressed about my own existence?



Im not saying everyone is an independent simulation, Im saying that I can see why he easily jumps to that conclusion, I bet somebody with a shitty life wouldnt feel like Neo.

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NMcNasty    United States. Jun 11 2016 18:10. Posts 2039

There's a huge difference between saying "every atom in this universe has been simulated" and "We are living in a simulation". With the latter you can take "We are" to mean "I am" in which case all you really have to simulate is one human brain. Other people could just part of my simulation, it wouldn't be necessary for them to have a simulation of their own. When I look at a white wall, my brain isn't processing every molecule, let alone atom, spin, etc. of that wall. The amount of processing necessary to replicate my neurons firing to show that wall is probably doable within the next 50 years, let alone 5000 or 5,000,000. The planet sized computer thing is meant to show how easy this would be, not difficult. If you believe a planet sized computer is possible, which would be pretty normal for someone's vision of the future in thousands of years, then you pretty much have to believe that we'll have the processing power to replicate brains at that point. So really, I have to agree with Bostrom's idea that it can't be technology as the reason for why we won't be in a simulation. Either we choose not to use it, humanity is destroyed before it gets to that level, or we are in fact in a simulation.


Loco   Canada. Jun 11 2016 19:49. Posts 20507


  On June 10 2016 16:22 Daut wrote:
Apparently when you are a genius billionaire you don't have to adhere to math or logic. Also think his certainty shows a level of psychopathy: he is trivializing the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of other people on this planet and is projecting his lack of empathy on the world.

But my answer to this is generally the same as it is to free will arguments: we can't know and from our perspective it does not matter.



Why do you think the free will arguments don't matter? There is a huge body of science showing that the belief (or disbelief) in free will affects the way we interact with others. On one side you have the argument made by many people including Sam Harris who argue that knowing the truth about the illusion of free will is a very freeing idea, allowing us to be more compassionate. On the other side, there are studies showing that people are negatively affected by this belief in many ways. A few links on this:

Encouraging belief in determinism increases cheating: http://assets.csom.umn.edu/assets/919...

Prosocial benefits of Feeling Free: http://web.missouri.edu/~segerti/caps...

Priming beliefs in determinism diminishes implicit components of self-agency: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/artic...

Freewill belief bolsters academic performance: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/...

Disbelief in freewill increases aggression, reduces helpfulness: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19...

Freewill Belief promotes gratitude, abstract: http://psp.sagepub.com/content/40/11/...

https://www.researchgate.net/publicat...
Freewill disbelief decreases attention regulation, task persistence, self-control: http://www.pnas.org/content/112/27/82...

Inducing disbelief in freewill alters brain correlates of preconscious motor preparation: https://www.amherst.edu/system/files/...

Those who make a peaceful revolution impossible, will make a violent revolution inevitable.Last edit: 11/06/2016 19:52

Daut    United States. Jun 11 2016 21:01. Posts 8950


  On June 11 2016 18:49 Loco wrote:
Show nested quote +



Why do you think the free will arguments don't matter? There is a huge body of science showing that the belief (or disbelief) in free will affects the way we interact with others. On one side you have the argument made by many people including Sam Harris who argue that knowing the truth about the illusion of free will is a very freeing idea, allowing us to be more compassionate. On the other side, there are studies showing that people are negatively affected by this belief in many ways. A few links on this:

Encouraging belief in determinism increases cheating: http://assets.csom.umn.edu/assets/919...

Prosocial benefits of Feeling Free: http://web.missouri.edu/~segerti/caps...

Priming beliefs in determinism diminishes implicit components of self-agency: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/artic...

Freewill belief bolsters academic performance: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/...

Disbelief in freewill increases aggression, reduces helpfulness: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19...

Freewill Belief promotes gratitude, abstract: http://psp.sagepub.com/content/40/11/...

https://www.researchgate.net/publicat...
Freewill disbelief decreases attention regulation, task persistence, self-control: http://www.pnas.org/content/112/27/82...

Inducing disbelief in freewill alters brain correlates of preconscious motor preparation: https://www.amherst.edu/system/files/...


I meant more that from our perspective it appears as if we have free will, so whether we do or do not is irrelevant. But I agree that believing there is free will vs believing there isn't can have profound impacts on a person's brain

NewbSaibot: 18 TIMES THE SPEED OF LIGHT. Because FUCK YOU, Daut 

traxamillion   United States. Jun 11 2016 22:27. Posts 10468


  On June 11 2016 17:10 NMcNasty wrote:
There's a huge difference between saying "every atom in this universe has been simulated" and "We are living in a simulation". With the latter you can take "We are" to mean "I am" in which case all you really have to simulate is one human brain. Other people could just part of my simulation, it wouldn't be necessary for them to have a simulation of their own. When I look at a white wall, my brain isn't processing every molecule, let alone atom, spin, etc. of that wall. The amount of processing necessary to replicate my neurons firing to show that wall is probably doable within the next 50 years, let alone 5000 or 5,000,000. The planet sized computer thing is meant to show how easy this would be, not difficult. If you believe a planet sized computer is possible, which would be pretty normal for someone's vision of the future in thousands of years, then you pretty much have to believe that we'll have the processing power to replicate brains at that point. So really, I have to agree with Bostrom's idea that it can't be technology as the reason for why we won't be in a simulation. Either we choose not to use it, humanity is destroyed before it gets to that level, or we are in fact in a simulation.



The thing about Bostrom's argument is he is not even talking about about humans creating the sim. He is talking about any sentient life in the universe. Most likely it is NOT humans creating the sim. Therefore in order to simulate humans, beings millions/billions of light years from Earth would have to have a sim so accurate and powerful that it maps out the entire creation of the universe and all life within it. His argument certainly has nothing to do with simulating 1 human's consciousness and having everything else be 'props'.


NMcNasty    United States. Jun 11 2016 23:12. Posts 2039


  On June 11 2016 21:27 traxamillion wrote:
The thing about Bostrom's argument is he is not even talking about about humans creating the sim.



Yes he is.

- The basic idea of this paper can be expressed roughly as follows: If there were a
substantial chance that our civilization will ever get to the posthuman stage and
run many ancestor?simulations, then how come you are not living in such a
simulation? -


 
His argument certainly has nothing to do with simulating 1 human's consciousness and having everything else be 'props'.



I'm referring to the paper not the videos (didn't watch all of them), but in the paper he's clearly talking about the human mind (part 3).

- The amount of computing power needed to emulate a human mind can
likewise be roughly estimated. One estimate, based on how computationally
expensive it is to replicate the functionality of a piece of nervous tissue that we
have already understood and whose functionality has been replicated in silico,
contrast enhancement in the retina, yields a figure of ~10^14 operations per second
for the entire human brain.6 An alternative estimate, based the number of
synapses in the brain and their firing frequency, gives a figure of ~10^16?10^17
operations per second.7 Conceivably, even more could be required if we want to
simulate in detail the internal workings of synapses and dendritic trees.
However, it is likely that the human central nervous system has a high degree of
redundancy on the mircoscale to compensate for the unreliability and noisiness
of its neuronal components. One would therefore expect a substantial efficiency
gain when using more reliable and versatile non?biological processors-

 Last edit: 11/06/2016 23:14

Liquid`Drone   Norway. Jun 12 2016 12:45. Posts 3020


  On June 11 2016 13:06 whamm! wrote:
lol true. But what if my simulation is independent from yours and those starving people in africa are just holograms to keep me from being depressed about my own existence?



ya, if a simulation then nobody is actually running the starving african kid one, everyone is hooked up to a smart/beautiful/good one and all the stupid/ugly/bad people are only in it because abilities are relative.

lol POKER 

FMLuser   Canada. Jun 13 2016 11:11. Posts 45

Apparently the first paper had some flaws and so Bostrom went back and wrote a patch that is focused on mistakes made on the math involving the probability
http://www.simulation-argument.com/patch.pdf

However after watching that 2hr video debate on the simulation argument there appears to be ways that we can test if we are a simulation though the experiment has only been proposed and not undertaken. From what I understand of what Zohreh Davoudi said in the video somethings would be impossible for a computer to simulate according to our current model of physics and that if we measured these cosmic waves would be able to find evidence of the computer having to make a short cut to simulate it. So according to Davoudi this is a testable idea in principle. Also Max Tegmark also had a unique remark in regards to Bostrom's argument. Tegmark commented on the fact that Bostrom's argument is based off of empirical principles of this universe,and that if we accept that simulation is possible it does not follow that we are according to probability a simulation. The reason being is that we could only take an accurate probability of being a simulation if we are the original universe. If we are a simulations its not possible for us to calculate the probability if we have no access to the original universe and original empirical principles.


traxamillion   United States. Jun 13 2016 15:58. Posts 10468

If it was a sim we would have better drugs imo


Smuft   Canada. Jun 15 2016 00:50. Posts 633

I expected LP to have a disproportionately high % of people who were accepting of the argument compared to the average member of the western population, who is usually quick to find any reason they can to dismiss the argument as it contains the notion that their reality might not be "real".

That should be expected though right? Ideas like this threaten how important our human ego feels and we probably have some biases that prevent us from entertaining such ideas. I think the unspoken belief here is that if you start giving serious consideration to the simulation argument, you are also somewhat admitting that maybe your life isn't as "real" as you thought it was, that it doesn't matter as much as it did before.

That is how I first felt about the simulation argument but for some reason I was drawn to it (I don't usually indulge in things like this too much as I think they are kind of a waste of time) and the more I thought about it, the harder it has become for me to reject the argument. So, pending any unknown developments, I accept the argument, here are my personal %'s for each proposition. Obviously these are hugely subjective and will change day to day:

1. "The fraction of human-level civilizations that reach a posthuman stage (that is, one capable of running high-fidelity ancestor simulations) is very close to zero"

(30%)

- This also includes the chance that we have an extinction level event before we reach the technology
- This % goes down every day we survive and advance closer to the technology of being able to able to run "high-fidelity ancestor simulations" until the day that we do and the % lowers to pretty much 0
- This % could go up if some technology is discovered that has a high potential to create an extinction level event or if there is some human social dynamic (WW3) that makes things unstable


2. "The fraction of posthuman civilizations that are interested in running ancestor-simulations is very close to zero"

(5%)

- can't think of many scenarios where at least some simulations wouldn't be run containing humans with experiences similar to the ones we are having now

3."The fraction of all people with our kind of experiences that are living in a simulation is very close to one"

(35%)

----

this only adds up to 70%, I have cowardly reserved 30% for "unknown" explanation to the simulation argument either via a mistake in the initial argument or another potential proposition we haven't yet thought of.

There we have it, the line has been set, taking action at 2:1 we live in a simulation

you send first on stars, bets will be settled upon verification ^^


CrownRoyal   Oman. Jun 15 2016 01:35. Posts 11380

Didn't read the thread but since I'm interested in the topic I thought I might post

There is some compelling evidence that we live in a simulation, I would make the argument, however, that a lot of these points are based on where we currently stand with technology/intelligence

-The double slit experiment - Quantum physics: There would be no reason for a simulation to render and process every bit of information that exists inside of itself. Computer games, for instance only render and process what is going on in your field of view to optimize the experience. The double slit experiment could very easily be explained by a simulation.

-The big bang looks an awful lot like turning on a video game: If you were a conscious and intelligent mario living in the toadstool kingdom and you were curious about your origins a video game turning on looks _a lot_ like the big bang. A sudden explosion of information that creates and sets the rules for everything around you, created in order and expanding outward.

-Error correcting code located in string theory equations that look identical to computer code. Literally error correcting code functioning in the fabric of reality all around you.



I'm sure a lot of my other points will have already been mentioned in the thread but here goes

-A simple thought experiment assuming that all things either are or are not possible; If we can create simulated universe we absolutely will. You can functionally speed up this universe that mocks our own- Maybe 1hr in our universe is setup to be 100,000 years in this simulated universe. We get to watch a universe play out in front of our eyes in fast forward, all of the technology, all of the ideas, every thing that ever lived can be studied. We get to see what every single civilization that comes out of this accomplishes and can assimilate it into our own knowledge. Maybe a civilization in our simulation creates their own simulated universe and gets all of their technology, so on and so forth down 100000 chains of simulated reality. The ability to create a simulated universe is the ability to know the answer to anything.

-If we _can_ create a universe it has already been done. It would be preposterous to assume we are the first universe, the one on top.

WHAT IS THIS 

Baalim   Mexico. Jun 15 2016 06:04. Posts 33875


  On June 13 2016 14:58 traxamillion wrote:
If it was a sim we would have better drugs imo



lol I kind of feel the same, if this is a simulation then why all the painful and unpleasantness ?

Ex-PokerStars Team Pro Online 

Stroggoz   New Zealand. Jun 15 2016 06:49. Posts 4886

Smuft your overconfidence is ur weakness.


Rate of extinction for the human race has been high since nuclear weapons were stockpiled. There have been two instances where a single russian military officer refused orders from the kremlin to carry out a nuclear war. Stanislav petrov and vasily arkiphov were there names. Dozens of cases where both the us and russia thought a nuclear war was being carried out because of bad programming and microchip malfunctions, and aggressive military excercises

In pakistan military officers have permission to nuke india without politicians knowledge.

Did you factor all of that into ur calculations? I use this example because its widely unknown, but it shows there are many factors to calculate that we probably dont know about. Your assuming 70 percent information known in answers to questions that are millions of times more complex than anything thats part of science.

This thread lacks humility from people arguing from the pro similation side, you guys should have close to zero comfidence in ur theory unless you actualy have some solid evidence. So far ive seen none.

Your taking action on something that can't be verified, unless you can unplug someone from the matrix?

supposed to have greenstar not braceletLast edit: 15/06/2016 07:50

Stroggoz   New Zealand. Jun 15 2016 07:11. Posts 4886


  On June 15 2016 05:04 Baalim wrote:
Show nested quote +



lol I kind of feel the same, if this is a simulation then why all the painful and unpleasantness ?


There are polls done on people that show most people would not want to live in an experience machine that gave them happiness even if they could, so u would have to force some people into the simulation, which is unethical. So
that actually makes sense to me. If the world was unethical enough to put human beings in simulated realities. then they could be unethical enough to make that sim really shitty.

supposed to have greenstar not bracelet 

Smuft   Canada. Jun 15 2016 09:10. Posts 633


  On June 15 2016 05:49 Stroggoz wrote:
Smuft your overconfidence is ur weakness.


Rate of extinction for the human race has been high since nuclear weapons were stockpiled. There have been two instances where a single russian military officer refused orders from the kremlin to carry out a nuclear war. Stanislav petrov and vasily arkiphov were there names. Dozens of cases where both the us and russia thought a nuclear war was being carried out because of bad programming and microchip malfunctions, and aggressive military excercises

In pakistan military officers have permission to nuke india without politicians knowledge.

Did you factor all of that into ur calculations? I use this example because its widely unknown, but it shows there are many factors to calculate that we probably dont know about. Your assuming 70 percent information known in answers to questions that are millions of times more complex than anything thats part of science.

This thread lacks humility from people arguing from the pro similation side, you guys should have close to zero comfidence in ur theory unless you actualy have some solid evidence. So far ive seen none.

Your taking action on something that can't be verified, unless you can unplug someone from the matrix?



I don't think we should refer to my random guess as a "calculation" but I have thought about the stuff you mentioned a little bit. I don't think nuclear war is going to totally wipe us out any time soon for a few reasons;

1. rational people are holding all the bombs, people that know they cant nuke anyone else without getting nuked back (if some radical islamic group got ahold of a large amount of nukes it'd be much more dangerous)
2. even if nuclear war does break out, even if 90% of the population is destroyed, that still leaves ~700k people, that's more than enough to rebuild

I think for existential threats it's more things that we aren't aware of, the things that we are already thinking about we can plan for and mitigate, it's the unknown that we haven't even considered that is most likely to kill us IMO.

-

If you think I'm overconfident you'll have to find a fundamental flaw in Bostrom's initial argument or give me a good reason to put more weight on proposition #1 or #2 over #3. I'm very open to changing my weights or abandoning the idea altogether, I just haven't heard any good reasons to do so.




Smuft   Canada. Jun 15 2016 09:19. Posts 633


  On June 15 2016 06:11 Stroggoz wrote:
Show nested quote +



There are polls done on people that show most people would not want to live in an experience machine that gave them happiness even if they could, so u would have to force some people into the simulation, which is unethical. So
that actually makes sense to me. If the world was unethical enough to put human beings in simulated realities. then they could be unethical enough to make that sim really shitty.



Not sure if Stroggoz or anyone else is misunderstanding the simulation's referred to in this argument are not the same as in the matrix. If we are living in a simulation, it's most likely that we are living entirely in the simulation, that our entire existence begins and ends inside of it. ie. our bodies are not plugged in


Spitfiree   Bulgaria. Jun 15 2016 09:55. Posts 9520


  On June 15 2016 05:04 Baalim wrote:
Show nested quote +



lol I kind of feel the same, if this is a simulation then why all the painful and unpleasantness ?

to keep it real obv :D

How d you guys get to the point of discussing nukes :/

And yeah agree with Smuft, such simulation is the case where we would be like a computer code run in a system, not farmed and plugged in. And it would be like that about everything we know.

 Last edit: 15/06/2016 09:58

Baalim   Mexico. Jun 15 2016 13:07. Posts 33875

you people need some SOMA in your life

Its a game that talks exactly about this, about consciousness uploaded into a simulation and mankind's future preservation in a simulation state in an ark thing...




Its a horror/story game by the makers of Amnesia, great stuff.

Ex-PokerStars Team Pro OnlineLast edit: 15/06/2016 13:08

Nazgul    Netherlands. Jun 15 2016 14:02. Posts 7079

If this was a simulation nothing about the pain and lack of perfection is surprising. It's a simulation after all they would have created the world and just see it through however it may end up. It could have ended up with humans not being pieces of shit, but here we are. If it is a true simulation it is to explore how something ends up, not to create a nice little fairy tale world for us to live in. Either way this is still not anything I can come even close to thinking is realistic. If this simulation started at the big bang it could have ended with nothing but lava and bacteria. I understand simulation time wouldn't be aligned with real time but the amount of computing power you would need to sit through billions of years of evolution just to end up with a couple thousand of human analysis is ridiculous.

You almost twin-caracked his AK - JonnyCosmo 

lucky331   . Jun 15 2016 14:20. Posts 1124

I WANNA WAKE UUUP! TECH SUPPOOOORT!!! IT'S A NIGHTMAAARE!!!!



....

you finally wake up and meet tech support.

+ Show Spoiler +

 Last edit: 15/06/2016 14:57

CrownRoyal   Oman. Jun 15 2016 15:29. Posts 11380


  On June 15 2016 13:02 Nazgul wrote:
If this was a simulation nothing about the pain and lack of perfection is surprising. It's a simulation after all they would have created the world and just see it through however it may end up. It could have ended up with humans not being pieces of shit, but here we are. If it is a true simulation it is to explore how something ends up, not to create a nice little fairy tale world for us to live in. Either way this is still not anything I can come even close to thinking is realistic. If this simulation started at the big bang it could have ended with nothing but lava and bacteria. I understand simulation time wouldn't be aligned with real time but the amount of computing power you would need to sit through billions of years of evolution just to end up with a couple thousand of human analysis is ridiculous.



I'm not sure what humans have anything to do with analysis of the life of a universe, I think it would be ridiculous to assume we are the supreme intellectual beings that have existed or will exist in our cosmos. If you create a universe that follows the same laws of physics and rules we have in our own humble abode anything that anyone or anything achieves is applicable to your own meandering experiences.

WHAT IS THIS 

Nazgul    Netherlands. Jun 15 2016 15:54. Posts 7079

Sorry, what does that have to do with what I said?

You almost twin-caracked his AK - JonnyCosmo 

Smuft   Canada. Jun 15 2016 19:47. Posts 633

I think Crown means humanity existing in the simulation could just be a by product of it's primary purpose. ie. maybe some god tier aliens are running a simulation of the universe and we are just living in it

haven't thought about this very much, seems less likely to be the source of the simulation but not impossible


Smuft   Canada. Jun 15 2016 20:45. Posts 633

Just as a few posters in this thread have a hard time understanding how one can take this argument seriously, I have a hard time understanding how one cannot. But I'm probably working with a bit more information than them as I've spent more time listening to people much smarter than us talk about the subject. Not everyone out right supports it or goes full Musk saying "billion to 1 we're living in a simulation" but most everyone at least treats it seriously.

Here is a short list of high profile sources on the simulation argument:

George Smoot - Physicist / Nobel Prize Winner


Sam Harris - Neuroscientist


Neil deGrasse Tyson hosting a debate - panelists are all intellectual rapists from prestigious schools like Harvard and MIT


Tom Campbell - Physicist (NASA), also worked in military and for the DOD for many years on things like missile defens - also wrote a huge book on simulation theory called "My Big TOE (theory of everything)"


Nick Bostrom and Elon Musk sources were linked in the OP


tomson    Poland. Jun 15 2016 23:03. Posts 1982


  On June 10 2016 03:44 Smuft wrote:
1. I think as time goes on you're right there would be less and less interest in creating such simulations. But it'll also get easier to run sims as time goes on and computing power increases even further; ie. at first only the futuristic version of google can do it, then the top 5 tech groups can do it, then wide commercial use, then enthusiasts and finally average people. Not to say that the same economic model will exist at that time but there will be some similar effect where it's first available to the few and then available to the many as the technology and computing resources improve.


As technology progresses either our sense of accountability increases immensely or we are guaranteed extinction.

If you believe we ever get to a point where we can make such simulations you probably also believe we will get to a point where we will have the technology to wipe out humanity. Right now we have atom bombs, in the not so distant future we will have a device capable of single handedly destroying the planet. I'd imagine at that point we will have to create either some foolproof restrictions or advance our level of consciousness where no single human will even consider using it.

And that is why I am skeptical of the notion of 'average people' using extremely advanced technology. I'm not too concerned about some Joe Schmo toying around creating universes. By that point the world will have to be very different from today, otherwise as a race we will not make it far.


  re: 3/4 - I've considered the morality issue we might have when capable of this technology but I think it would not be enough to deter us because what horrible reality would we really be subjecting these sentient beings to? Life based on the laws of our universe? Is that really so bad? Sure there will be a lot of pain and suffering but not much more than what life on this planet has already experienced up to this point.


I was talking about the possibility of sentient beings figuring out they are just part of a simulation. Is that really so bad? I mean, realizing that you, everyone you know, reality itself is just part of a 'game' that is meant to advance the knowledge of future civilizations seems pretty cruel and horrific to me.

Peace of mind cant be bought. 

Baalim   Mexico. Jun 16 2016 00:38. Posts 33875


  On June 15 2016 13:02 Nazgul wrote:
If this was a simulation nothing about the pain and lack of perfection is surprising. It's a simulation after all they would have created the world and just see it through however it may end up. It could have ended up with humans not being pieces of shit, but here we are. If it is a true simulation it is to explore how something ends up, not to create a nice little fairy tale world for us to live in. Either way this is still not anything I can come even close to thinking is realistic. If this simulation started at the big bang it could have ended with nothing but lava and bacteria. I understand simulation time wouldn't be aligned with real time but the amount of computing power you would need to sit through billions of years of evolution just to end up with a couple thousand of human analysis is ridiculous.



But the kind of simulation you are talking about, that being the whole universe being simulated, every single sub atomic particle simulated is impossible, the simulation that we are talking about in the last few posts is a "personal" simulation, where only you are real, that is much more realistic in terms of computational power to call it that way.


So the universe simulation makes sense for pain, but when its only one person being simulated then it doesnt make sense, unless the ones creating the simulations are sadists. Its the same theological argument that an all powerful god (in this case the simulator) cannot be a good God given the constant misery in the conditions of life.

Ex-PokerStars Team Pro OnlineLast edit: 16/06/2016 00:39

Jelle   Belgium. Jun 16 2016 01:00. Posts 3474

(just read page 1 sorry if this has already been said)

I feel like everyone skips over the prerequisites as if they're clearly met but that doesn't seem obvious to me

maybe it really is tough/close to impossible for advanced societies to avoid killing themselves before they reach the point where they can run ridiculously amazing simulations?

maybe by the time you're smart enough to run absurdly badass simulations, you don't need them anymore?

this argument is kind of presented in a tricky way with the insinuation that the probability of the 2 statements above is 0 and therefore the remaining probability has to be almost 1. I wouldn't say 0 to either so then your odds of being in a real universe get better at least

GroT 

Stroggoz   New Zealand. Jun 16 2016 01:55. Posts 4886


  On June 15 2016 08:10 Smuft wrote:
Show nested quote +



I don't think we should refer to my random guess as a "calculation" but I have thought about the stuff you mentioned a little bit. I don't think nuclear war is going to totally wipe us out any time soon for a few reasons;

1. rational people are holding all the bombs, people that know they cant nuke anyone else without getting nuked back (if some radical islamic group got ahold of a large amount of nukes it'd be much more dangerous)
2. even if nuclear war does break out, even if 90% of the population is destroyed, that still leaves ~700k people, that's more than enough to rebuild

I think for existential threats it's more things that we aren't aware of, the things that we are already thinking about we can plan for and mitigate, it's the unknown that we haven't even considered that is most likely to kill us IMO.

-

If you think I'm overconfident you'll have to find a fundamental flaw in Bostrom's initial argument or give me a good reason to put more weight on proposition #1 or #2 over #3. I'm very open to changing my weights or abandoning the idea altogether, I just haven't heard any good reasons to do so.








This is just logically fallacious. I don't have to find a flaw in Bostroms argument to show it's weak, though i think there can be some found-that's not how science works the large majority of the time. He (Bostrom), is the one who is meant to make a convincing argument in the first place if we want to say that it's likely correct. Usually it should have predictability and have fallibility. Well it has neither of those two properties. There is no way to falsify the simulation hypothesis and it doesn't predict anything, so for me there is no reason to be so confident in it. Let's be honest, your getting these %'s out of nowhere.




Just to make clear. I think it's fine to speculate/have bad theories, as long as we recognize they are highly speculative. That's all philosophers ever do, admit that they have weak theories, and this topic belongs to the domain of philosophy.

supposed to have greenstar not braceletLast edit: 16/06/2016 01:55

NMcNasty    United States. Jun 16 2016 02:43. Posts 2039


  On June 16 2016 00:55 Stroggoz wrote:
There is no way to falsify the simulation hypothesis and it doesn't predict anything, so for me there is no reason to be so confident in it.



You can just tweak it a bit to give it predictive qualities.

1. Human beings will make it to year 5000
2. Human beings will develop technology enabling them to run sims that replicate human experience by the year 5000
3. Human beings (or their AI counterparts) will decide to run billions of these sims by the year 5000

If its gets to year 5001 all of these happen you can say that the modified simulation theory was proven correct. If not, you can say it was falsified. So you can create odds just like any other bet. Even if you say the odds are 100 to 1 against all three of the above happening, even just ~1% is pretty huge for something so mind-boggling actually happening.

Also you could make the same type of bet for 50,000 or 5,000,000 years.


Smuft   Canada. Jun 16 2016 05:58. Posts 633


  On June 15 2016 22:03 tomson wrote:
Show nested quote +


As technology progresses either our sense of accountability increases immensely or we are guaranteed extinction.

If you believe we ever get to a point where we can make such simulations you probably also believe we will get to a point where we will have the technology to wipe out humanity. Right now we have atom bombs, in the not so distant future we will have a device capable of single handedly destroying the planet. I'd imagine at that point we will have to create either some foolproof restrictions or advance our level of consciousness where no single human will even consider using it.

And that is why I am skeptical of the notion of 'average people' using extremely advanced technology. I'm not too concerned about some Joe Schmo toying around creating universes. By that point the world will have to be very different from today, otherwise as a race we will not make it far.



Legit insights. I still don't think that significantly effects the argument though, even if average people aren't running simulations many simulations will still be run by people qualified to do so. ie. maybe instead of billions to one or millions to one, itd instead be thousand to one


 
I was talking about the possibility of sentient beings figuring out they are just part of a simulation. Is that really so bad? I mean, realizing that you, everyone you know, reality itself is just part of a 'game' that is meant to advance the knowledge of future civilizations seems pretty cruel and horrific to me.



This could go down some strange philosophical path on the subjective value of life... I personally don't think it's particularly cruel, I mean would the knowledge that we live in a simulation actually make any difference at all? If you zoom out and look at the big picture our lives are more less equally insignificant whether we are in a simulation or not.

The things that make our lives important to us won't change at all. Our experiences, our emotions, and our loved ones would be exactly the same as they have been our entire lives - before and after any knowledge that we do or do not live in a simulation.

The change in perspective would be a big adjustment but as far as being so cruel as to prevent us from ever running simulations at all? not even close imo


lucky331   . Jun 16 2016 06:35. Posts 1124


  On June 10 2016 02:30 tomson wrote:
A couple of counter-arguments I have come up with:

1. In the future there would have to be some kind of point to create such simulations. It could be the case that by the time we are able to create such simulations they would not provide us with any more insight.



what about for entertainment value? we have games that relive the past right? what if our descendants enter the simulation, and live with us down here...?


 

2. There would have to be extremely many simulations running (the more there are the more likely it is we are in one). Again - there might not be a point to do that many.




again, it's for the entertainment value. different types of simulation for different folks. some like a utopian scenario, some like a dystopian, etc.. etc..


 

3. If at this point of our evolution we find the idea of creating a simulation where there would be sentient beings unaware that they are not real unsettling I can only hope that in the future we will have even higher ethical standards. Especially since I'm sure future technology will provide a multitude of moral dilemmas.




the fact that there's a possibility that our descendants know they are creating sims that are self aware, those "higher ethical standards" go out the window. and there's a high chance they're all doing this for profit and entertainment. and we're the entertainment. so better hope their in high praise of you or you get sent to somalia or somewhere not nice. i feel like someone must really love me out there, i could still get away with doing what i want and slack my days away.


 

4. To expand on the ethical issue of creating such a simulation - the possibility of the beings figuring out they are inside a simulation makes it a lot more disturbing. Unless you rig it in a way where they can never prove it, but placing such a caveat inside the simulation may beat the purpose of it.



there's that risk. but what if we are in a simulation right now and we accept it as true, how do you prove or disprove it?

 Last edit: 16/06/2016 12:04

lucky331   . Jun 16 2016 06:41. Posts 1124

and what if this guy: https://www.liquidpoker.net/poker-for...Mass_shooting_in_Orlando_gay_n...html is from the real world, he entered our simulation and started shooting folks for the lulz.

edit: it's like playing GTA, but way more realistic. i'd pay to play that tbh.

 Last edit: 16/06/2016 06:52

lucky331   . Jun 16 2016 12:06. Posts 1124

could this guy be the ultimate sim troll?

+ Show Spoiler +


PIetraxon   . Jun 16 2016 18:41. Posts 8

1) If this is a simulation, why the assumption that it was created to simulate anything related to human existence? I find it infinitely more likely that the simulation would have been created to test something completely different, and us sim-humans are just a byproduct.

2) If it actually is a simulation of the human existence, then it would have had to be designed in a way that it will be utterly impossible for us to ever figure it out. As such, it makes it one of the few "potential mysteries" that's not worth pursuing in my mind, because the pursuit would be destined to fail by design (literally and figuratively).

3) The "ethics" argument us invalid in my opinion, assuming that we are already accepting that we live in a simulation. It might as well be that we are put in the simulation by our own request, just to see if we can relive our lives in a different way than we did. It might seem "unethical" to us current sim-humans, but to our real-world counterpart human, who may be at their death bed (whatever that means in their world), it would probably be the thrill of a lifetime. Not to mention that even if we were all "forced" to be in this simulation, chances are it's not even an issue of ethics to whoever put is in here; they might have (and I think probably would have) evolved so so much that, compared to them, we are nothing - we don't even fit into the group of "things" or "beings" that they would extend their ethics to. We could be to them no more than what Tassadar or Kerrigan are to us (hint: computer game characters, for those who don't know).

4) If this is a simulation, it might as well have only me in it. I mean, how do I know that ANY of you guys, or any of the people around me, are real? How do YOU, dear reader, know that anyone around you is real (by "real" I mean that they are experiencing anything at all)? For all I know I could be the only one living in the simulation and this is the only simulation in existence. Am I talking to myself right now?

5) As Nazgul put it, this sounds a bit too much like a modern version of "finding God" (only now it's "Finding THE Computer" instead). And to someone who wrote earlier that some people defy the idea of a simulation because it takes away from their perceived "uniqueness" of humanity, I actually think quite the opposite is true; I think that it takes quite an ego to believe that everything around you was built just to test something out that has to do with us. In other words; I don't believe in the simulation hypothesis (it's a hypothesis by the way, not a theory) because I DON'T think humanity is special, not because I think it is.

6) In the end, and as someone has already said, I don't see what it would change at all. I think the perceived appeal of the simulation hypothesis is that it implies that there is an "exit", and a different world where "everything is possible". *cough* heaven *cough*.

7) Obviously it would be very interesting (scientifically speaking) if the hypothesis were true. Again though, and as noted earlier by others, I haven't yet seen or heard anything that would pique my interest enough to consider this seriously. The simulation must be so absolutely perfect that, again, we would never be able to prove it is one. If it weren't perfect, we'd have to see some very clear signs and glitches. And by glitches I don't mean some physical phenomena that are yet difficult to explain; I mean actual glitches - seeing 75 moons in the sky for a few seconds before a correction. Gravity playing games with us sending all people into space for a few moments before we come back down. Some sort of lag that would make everyone freeze and not move for a while while still being conscious. My arms disappearing for a moment before coming back. Clothes changing colors momentarily. You know, things that look like actual software glitches. If we haven't seen any of that yet (or if we are all undergoing a memory purge whenever it happens, Men In Black style), then I have to think the simulation is impenetrable to us, and therefore completely indistinguishable from reality.

EDIT:

8) Smuft, thanks for the videos above, I watched all of them (some now, some earlier in the past). None of them contain anything that I would consider credible enough to give the hypothesis any closer consideration; the people in the videos are credible, yes, but what they are saying sounds like no more than an opinion.

Essentially, it's me saying the following right now:

"Consider this: the (real) universe is most likely infinitely large and infinitely old. It is therefore extremely likely for there to have naturally evolved trillions upon trillions of iterations of humanity as we know it and which would never in their existence reach the technological level (or need, for that matter), to create a simulated world. As such, I think the chances of us living in one of those real iterations of humanity that never manage to develop the technology to create sims are by orders of magnitude higher than the chances of us living in a simulated world. I call this the Real World hypothesis."

What these guys in the videos are saying is not science. It merely sounds scientific.

 Last edit: 17/06/2016 09:06

Nazgul    Netherlands. Jun 17 2016 14:27. Posts 7079

I watched the Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate and left with a feeling that even the proponents of the theory debate more for the fun of it than truly believing in it.

You almost twin-caracked his AK - JonnyCosmo 

Smuft   Canada. Jun 18 2016 03:51. Posts 633

Questions for those who reject the argument in it's current form:

If we ever turn on a simulation of the universe where we observe people in it living out their lives, similarly to how you and I do - after this has occurred what is the % chance that we are also living in one?

In case you didn't automatically extrapolate, the day we turn on one is quickly followed by turning on many many more.



Baalim   Mexico. Jun 18 2016 03:57. Posts 33875

you mean an entire universe simulation to the smallest sub-atomic particle? or a Truman Show simulation

Ex-PokerStars Team Pro Online 

PIetraxon   . Jun 18 2016 09:32. Posts 8

@Smuft

"In case you didn't automatically extrapolate, the day we turn on one is quickly followed by turning on many many more. "

The way I see it it's possible there could only be one such simulation, or a few dozen (barring nested simulations). Just because it could potentially be possible doesn't mean anyone will care. Remember 25 years ago everyone was expecting that we'd have Jetsons-style flying cars by now in most western households, and space scientists were expecting (they were extrapolating based on the scientific progress in space exploration) that by around 2000-2005 we would have a giant self-sufficient space colony capable of housing millions (I think) of people. Both of these are technically possible, but no one cares enough for it to be done (at least so far). Instead, rather than the "cool technology" route we've mostly went the "information sharing" route, something pretty much no one would have expected 30-40 years ago. I just don't think the assumptions/premises the Simulation Argument is built on is valid, and by those I mean:

A) That we will ever possess the technology to build such a simulation.

B) That someone will ever care to make many o them (or even one).

They are possibilities, but likely? If they were likely, then I think we must also accept other things as likely as well, such as the question I proposed earlier:

Suppose that the creation of human life forms is no more than a matter of chance (freak chance, but still just chance). If the sample size is large enough (really, really large), then trillions upon trillions of iterations of humanity are going to be created, and so if the universe is endlessly large and endlessly old in one way or another, then such a number of iterations of humanity is bound to be created, with many of them probably never even exploring virtual technology, let alone creating a simulation like the one we speak of. Doesn't this make it incredibly likely that we are living in one of those 'real' iterations of humanity?

It's the same type of question to me. It's an interesting argument for sure (otherwise we wouldn't be having this conversation), but I don't see the argument standing, and it's no different than many other arguments one could come up with. Here's one I'm making up on the spot (but I'm sure someone has already proposed this sometime):

Suppose we keep evolving AI and bio-engineering, isn't it possible that 10 000 years from now we humans (supposing we are the real thing) would send AI out far into space to colonize the world and do some testing; in places where we ourselves can't or don't want to go? These "bio creations" could be extremely similar to humans, but not real humans, and they would not possess the level of insight necessary to figure out that they are not actually humans. We would of course send other living flora and fauna along with the artificial humans so the new "AI-human world" could be fully colonized. It would probably take more time before this could be possible (compared to creating a perfect simulation), but in my mind it is no less or more likely to happen than the simulation. So now I ask two questions:

1) Isn't it more likely that we are living in one such artificial colony than that we are the real human ancestors (who are probably nested somewhere far, far away)? and;

2) Which is more likely - that we are living in a simulation, or that we are an artificial human colony? Would there be more simulations than colonies? I think the colonies would ultimately turn out to be significantly more useful at providing data, so wouldn't they end up shutting down all simulations and expanding the number of colonies? Not to mention that, just like with the simulations, a colony could end up creating its own colonies.

I could come up with more similar arguments, some better than other ones, and things would become even more bizarre pretty quickly.

 Last edit: 18/06/2016 10:22

Liquid`Drone   Norway. Jun 18 2016 12:21. Posts 3020

wouldn't a simulation probably be programmed in a way that wouldn't allow me to realize I am in a simulation? Also, wouldn't realization of living in a simulation have very dire consequences for how you live your life? It would mean that none of the people you surround yourself with are real. Yourself and your own perceptions and feelings, defining their realness is a topic of its own, but at least your actions within the simulation would continue to have tangible effects on yourself and your feeling of wellness. But your actions would not have tangible effects on other people. I can see how 'empathy' would be something a person thinking he lives in a simulation would have less of, for example.

Still, why would a simulation be designed in a way that allows us to pose the question? Like, why would my own simulation randomly decide to have some guy named Smuft make a thread in an internet forum I frequent to make me question whether I am living within a simulation or not? It seems like a weird priority of the programmers to include such a feature.

lol POKER 

Skoal   Canada. Jun 18 2016 12:38. Posts 460

simulation theory is the atheists version of religion

bostrom's 'logic' leaves out a myriad of questions as to why, how, and most importantly consciousness

thinking about or discussing it is fun but it will ultimately lead you down a dead end


Smuft   Canada. Jun 18 2016 12:48. Posts 633


  On June 18 2016 08:32 PIetraxon wrote:
They are possibilities, but likely? If they were likely, then I think we must also accept other things as likely as well, such as the question I proposed earlier:

Suppose that the creation of human life forms is no more than a matter of chance (freak chance, but still just chance). If the sample size is large enough (really, really large), then trillions upon trillions of iterations of humanity are going to be created, and so if the universe is endlessly large and endlessly old in one way or another, then such a number of iterations of humanity is bound to be created, with many of them probably never even exploring virtual technology, let alone creating a simulation like the one we speak of. Doesn't this make it incredibly likely that we are living in one of those 'real' iterations of humanity?



Let's entertain the beginning assumptions in your argument for a minute:


1. universe is infinite or close to infinitely large

2. because the universe is so large, trillions of iterations of humanity exist in the universe


ok sure, why not (afaik there is no reason either of these are not technically possible)

However, the next part of your argument:


3. as so many iterations exist, many of them will probably never explore virtual technology (and not create simulations)


I have a problem with this.

Why do you suddenly insert the assumption "will probably never even explore virtual technology"?

I can't think of a common reason why humans that would be fundamentally the same as us, would not eventually discover this technology. Why? Because if they are human, they will be similar enough to us that they won't just settle being hunter gatherers or reach a certain amount of technology and then just stop.

I think it'll be quite hard to offer an argument that would make this assumption likely, especially considering in the only sample we have of humans, we are obsessed with such technology.

I could see some extreme cases where this could occur, such as some radical totalitarian culture is developed that takes over the world and limits scientific advancement but these would be the exceptions, not the norm.

Lastly:


4. Doesn't this make it incredibly more likely that we are living in one of those 'real' iterations of humanity? (instead of a simulation)


Answering "yes" to this relies on 3 being accurate, which i do not think it is. Once 3 is no longer accurate, the answer to this will never be close to "yes".



 
Suppose we keep evolving AI and bio-engineering, isn't it possible that 10 000 years from now we humans (supposing we are the real thing) would send AI out far into space to colonize the world and do some testing; in places where we ourselves can't or don't want to go? These "bio creations" could be extremely similar to humans, but not real humans, and they would not possess the level of insight necessary to figure out that they are not actually humans. We would of course send other living flora and fauna along with the artificial humans so the new "AI-human world" could be fully colonized. It would probably take more time before this could be possible (compared to creating a perfect simulation), but in my mind it is no less or more likely to happen than the simulation. So now I ask two questions:

1) Isn't it more likely that we are living in one such artificial colony than that we are the real human ancestors (who are probably nested somewhere far, far away)? and;

2) Which is more likely - that we are living in a simulation, or that we are an artificial human colony? Would there be more simulations than colonies? I think the colonies would ultimately turn out to be significantly more useful at providing data, so wouldn't they end up shutting down all simulations and expanding the number of colonies? Not to mention that, just like with the simulations, a colony could end up creating its own colonies.



I entertained the last one as it's within the realm of plausible for me but this one is kind of ridiculous. The main problem here is the assumptions setting up the path to a place where many iterations can take place is too unlikely. Mainly the logistics of traveling to other planets that could support human life; such planets are not common and traveling to them takes a long time.

Then that you are tailoring all the variables of this scenario to be a replacement for a simulation when in reality such a scenario is much more likely to take places for the purposes of space exploration, colonizing other planets, etc. And so using fake humans that don't know they are fake becomes very unlikely for me.

Even in the case that your assumptions are correct and we do send out "bio creations" to all corners of the universe that self populate. How does that explain our place in evolution? What are all these bones of our ancestors and evidence millions of years of our evolution doing here?

-

One of the reasons I give Bostrom's argument so much credit is because it's sound and doesn't have these kinds of holes in it. After >13 years of academics reviewing it and nerds like us on internet forums debating it, no one has been able to find some fundamental flaw that brings it all down. Not to say there hasn't been some good arguments against it but nothing sharp enough to cut it up. Time will tell though.



 
I just don't think the assumptions/premises the Simulation Argument is built on is valid, and by those I mean:

A) That we will ever possess the technology to build such a simulation.

B) That someone will ever care to make many o them (or even one).



These are not premises or assumptions they are actually included in his 3 propositions. So your objections are already covered.

A) could be true, in which case

1. "The fraction of human-level civilizations that reach a posthuman stage (that is, one capable of running high-fidelity ancestor simulations) is very close to zero"

would be true

B) could also be true, in which case

2. "The fraction of posthuman civilizations that are interested in running ancestor-simulations is very close to zero"

would be true

-

People seem to forget (especially those that are not used to thinking probabilistically) that Bostrom's argument doesn't say we live in a simulation, it's just 1 of the 3 possibilities. So when you argue that we'll never have the computational resources to do this you're actually arguing for proposition #1. When you are arguing that the level of interest in these simulations will be so low that very few will be run, you are arguing for proposition #2

The interesting part and the crux of simulation argument for me is the case where #1 or #2 are proven to be not true.

ie. the day that humanity turns on such a simulation and sees that it's actually real - how can we then deny a substantial possibility that we are also living in one?


Smuft   Canada. Jun 18 2016 12:56. Posts 633


  On June 18 2016 11:38 Skoal wrote:
simulation theory is the atheists version of religion

bostrom's 'logic' leaves out a myriad of questions as to why, how, and most importantly consciousness

thinking about or discussing it is fun but it will ultimately lead you down a dead end



most of your questions including consciousness are covered in the formal version of the argument at - http://www.simulation-argument.com/simulation.html

consciousness is one of the interesting parts of this argument that could make it invalid but that's only if we believe consciousness is some special property that we can't eventually program (most people in the relevant fields seem to think thats not the case, also LP's recent thread on AI consciousness seemed to agree)


lucky331   . Jun 18 2016 13:21. Posts 1124


  On June 18 2016 02:57 Baalim wrote:
you mean an entire universe simulation to the smallest sub-atomic particle? or a Truman Show simulation



and if we're in a simulation, how do we know the difference?


lucky331   . Jun 18 2016 13:23. Posts 1124


  On June 18 2016 08:32 PIetraxon wrote:
@Smuft

"In case you didn't automatically extrapolate, the day we turn on one is quickly followed by turning on many many more. "

The way I see it it's possible there could only be one such simulation, or a few dozen (barring nested simulations). Just because it could potentially be possible doesn't mean anyone will care. Remember 25 years ago everyone was expecting that we'd have Jetsons-style flying cars by now in most western households, and space scientists were expecting (they were extrapolating based on the scientific progress in space exploration) that by around 2000-2005 we would have a giant self-sufficient space colony capable of housing millions (I think) of people. Both of these are technically possible, but no one cares enough for it to be done (at least so far). Instead, rather than the "cool technology" route we've mostly went the "information sharing" route, something pretty much no one would have expected 30-40 years ago. I just don't think the assumptions/premises the Simulation Argument is built on is valid, and by those I mean:

A) That we will ever possess the technology to build such a simulation.

B) That someone will ever care to make many o them (or even one).

They are possibilities, but likely? If they were likely, then I think we must also accept other things as likely as well, such as the question I proposed earlier:

Suppose that the creation of human life forms is no more than a matter of chance (freak chance, but still just chance). If the sample size is large enough (really, really large), then trillions upon trillions of iterations of humanity are going to be created, and so if the universe is endlessly large and endlessly old in one way or another, then such a number of iterations of humanity is bound to be created, with many of them probably never even exploring virtual technology, let alone creating a simulation like the one we speak of. Doesn't this make it incredibly likely that we are living in one of those 'real' iterations of humanity?

It's the same type of question to me. It's an interesting argument for sure (otherwise we wouldn't be having this conversation), but I don't see the argument standing, and it's no different than many other arguments one could come up with. Here's one I'm making up on the spot (but I'm sure someone has already proposed this sometime):

Suppose we keep evolving AI and bio-engineering, isn't it possible that 10 000 years from now we humans (supposing we are the real thing) would send AI out far into space to colonize the world and do some testing; in places where we ourselves can't or don't want to go? These "bio creations" could be extremely similar to humans, but not real humans, and they would not possess the level of insight necessary to figure out that they are not actually humans. We would of course send other living flora and fauna along with the artificial humans so the new "AI-human world" could be fully colonized. It would probably take more time before this could be possible (compared to creating a perfect simulation), but in my mind it is no less or more likely to happen than the simulation. So now I ask two questions:

1) Isn't it more likely that we are living in one such artificial colony than that we are the real human ancestors (who are probably nested somewhere far, far away)? and;

2) Which is more likely - that we are living in a simulation, or that we are an artificial human colony? Would there be more simulations than colonies? I think the colonies would ultimately turn out to be significantly more useful at providing data, so wouldn't they end up shutting down all simulations and expanding the number of colonies? Not to mention that, just like with the simulations, a colony could end up creating its own colonies.

I could come up with more similar arguments, some better than other ones, and things would become even more bizarre pretty quickly.



hi whamm, i know that's you in there...


PIetraxon   . Jun 18 2016 14:08. Posts 8

Hi Smuft,


  Why do you suddenly insert the assumption "will probably never even explore virtual technology"?



A few reasons (assumptions rather):

1) The way we pursue technology is I think a completely random event. I do not believe that if we were to "start" 100 000 human civilizations from the "stone age", so to speak, that they would all go the same route. We just so happened to go the "computer" way, but I'm sure there are billions of other routes humanity could have evolved. I don't think that every iteration of humanity would have pursued the same "route of advancement" if that makes sense. Maybe it is the "only way" and that all roads lead to roam, so to speak. However judging by the amount of variety in nature, my hunch is that there should be many other ways we could have evolved as a society.

2) Extinction. I would guess that a huge number of those iterations of humanity that we're speaking of would just die out long, long before they ever reached the mindbogglingly advanced stage where such a simulation could be created.

3) Need vs. resources. My guess is that even in those iterations of humanity that would manage to develop the necessary technology to start a simulation, there would be a significant number where the need vs resource ratio would not be in favor of starting it, ever. For instance, running such a simulation could potentially require so much energy and computing power that even if we were to harness the energy from a million stars, it could still be not possible to run it (and given the complexity this proposed simulation of the entire universe is likely to have, I don't even think I'm exaggerating).

Again though, none of this is said to imply that a simulation would not be created in any of these iterations; just that I consider it likely that there would be many iterations in which the technology is never developed.


  especially considering in the only sample we have of humans, we are obsessed with such technology.



Humanity as a whole is notoriously bad at predicting the future based on current trends, imo. As such I find that a complete lack of sample is pretty much the same as the tiny sample that we do have, in my opinion. In other words, "the "sample" that we have is to me non-existent. If you look back at all the technological predictions made in the past as to what will happen in 40-50 years time, I think you should find that the huge majority of them were absolutely out of line with what really happened. How can we then try to make educated "guesses" as to what will happen 5000 or 20000 years from now? In my mind, it's completely impossible.


 
Answering "yes" to this relies on 3 being accurate, which i do not think it is. Once 3 is no longer accurate, the answer to this will never be close to "yes".



Hope that my points above somewhat make "3" more plausible to you, because they are all I have in this regard.


  Mainly the logistics of traveling to other planets that could support human life; such planets are not common and traveling to them takes a long time.



Okay, but why would we say that the logistics for setting this up are a problem, but then readily accept the logistics for creating the simulated world are achievable? As far as things stand right now, both of them are pretty much equally impossible and out of our reach. It's not like the simulator is only a matter of the right software; you would also need GINORMOUS amounts of energy. Basically an amount of energy to simulate the whole world... (consider for a moment that rendering, just rendering alone, of a 2 hour cartoon like Shrek will cost anywhere from a few to a few dozen million USD of computing power - which is a minuscule drop in the ocean compared to the power it would take to accurately 'simulate' just my bedroom and my own visual view of the different objects in it from all the available angles of directing my eyesight, including breaking these objects up into an infinite number of pieces and observing each one separately). If we can harness this much energy, I think hypothetical concepts like warping and wormholes become equally within our grasp. I cannot accept a scenario where a simulation of this magnitude is possible, but interstellar travel isn't. It's either both or none to me.


  Even in the case that your assumptions are correct and we do send out "bio creations" to all corners of the universe that self populate. How does that explain our place in evolution?



But if we are accepting that we could be in a simulation, we must also accept that many things around us could be "fake" and not what we think they are. In other words, if it's a simulation, then there is absolutely no reason to believe that we are right about what evolution, or anything else is; all of it could be fabricated for the purposes of the simulation, whatever these may be. In light of this i find your question inadequate. For all we know a guy in charge of the simulation told his programmers "guys, let's insert some giant lizard bones and see what happens". We can't take anything around us for "real", and so questions about "why is X here" become meaningless. Heck, we might not even be in a simulation that's been created for scientific purposes and might actually be living in utter bizarro world compared to the real thing.


  Not to say there hasn't been some good arguments against it but nothing sharp enough to cut it up.



I agree, and that's what makes it an interesting conversation topic. However, the fact that we have absolutely no signs of us living in a simulation, and only assumptions as to why it's possible, makes it difficult for me to treat it as anything beyond an interesting philosophical concept. It can't be disproved, just like God's existence can't be disproved. It makes it interesting, but not much beyond that (to me).


  ie. the day that humanity turns on such a simulation and sees that it's actually real - how can we then deny a substantial possibility that we are also living in one?



My point is that there are so many other potential possibilities (different iterations of humanity that never achieve the technology required or don't care to start a simulation; 'artificial' human civilizations, and probably a gazillion other things that we will not be able to think of right now, just like 200 years ago no one would have ever been able to anticipate a Simulation because we didn't know the technology that would allow us to even imagine such a possibility), that once you add them all up and combine them with the possibility of us being in a simulation, it dilutes the likelihood of us being in a simulation, even if we manage to create one.

Is it a possibility? Yes sure. But likely? I still see absolutely no reason to think it is.

 Last edit: 19/06/2016 18:41

PIetraxon   . Jun 19 2016 18:50. Posts 8

Also, a theoretical question to those with more knowledge of the Simulation Argument (and software / physics in general).

If we are living in a simulation, shouldn't the act of placing two mirrors in front of each other cause the simulation to break down completely? Would this not create an endless loop that would essentially require all of the universe's energy to properly process? Or are we saying that there would not actually be an infinite number of reflections in the two mirrors, because no one can actually observe the infinite reflections, therefore no endless loop to speak of? Wouldn't this mean that the Simulation Argument defies multiple physical laws that we have so far no reason to believe are false? I might be getting ahead of myself here so would like to hear what others think.

 Last edit: 19/06/2016 18:50

Stroggoz   New Zealand. Jun 19 2016 22:41. Posts 4886

lol interesting example with the mirrors. Tho i think the simulation is just meant to make it believable to the people in it, at least that's what Bostrom pictured, so it would not have to show you a complete infinite recursion for you to believe it, just a 100 mirrors or so. Could very well be that when ur not looking the rest of the universe dissappears. So it could just simulate your sensory perceptions around you, like when you play an MMO it will render images around you as you walk thru the environment. Infinite mirrors could very well be a problem that doesn't 'halt' in a turing machine tho?

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RiKD    United States. Jun 20 2016 02:14. Posts 6789

Is it impossible to find the probabilities?

If the universe is infinite than the amount of civilizations with the potential to reach that advanced technology is infinite?

If they reach the level of technology to create ancestor simulations they would eventually create the technology to reach other civilizations. Would they go extinct or lose interest before that point?

How do we predict the chances of a civilization going extinct + the chances of a civilization losing interest?

On first watch, I agree with the Simulation Argument and Simulation Hypothesis.

I would like to see Nick and Elon show their work.

"less than 50% that we are in a simulation." - Bolstrom

"1 in a billion that this is base reality." - Musk

One thing I just thought of is that guys like Elon and many other drivers of technology would absolutely NOT lose interest (which may be why he forgot about that part of the argument in that video?). A fascinating probability or story would be x, y, z company or whoever devises the technology for simulation and there are many powers for and against.

What is the right thing to do?

(I seem to always bring it back to ethics)

Nice thread. Bringing me back to why I love LP. I can definitely use some food for thought every now and again. Have to keep the brain satiated and happy. One love. One heart. Let's get together and feel alright.

 Last edit: 20/06/2016 02:15

PIetraxon   . Jun 20 2016 08:04. Posts 8


  lol interesting example with the mirrors. Tho i think the simulation is just meant to make it believable to the people in it, at least that's what Bostrom pictured, so it would not have to show you a complete infinite recursion for you to believe it, just a 100 mirrors or so.



Yes that would make sense, but then we do have a problem with the argument. Because as far as I understand, the argument is considered plausible because it does not clash with any of the physical rules we have. But this would make it clash, or wouldn't it? Essentially it would mean that the only way the argument is true is if we disregard certain things that we think of as "laws of nature", which in my mind significantly weakens the plausibility of the hypothesis (or even shatters it completely for the time being), because now anyone "for" the hypothesis would also need to prove that there are actually no endless reflections in the mirrors. Unless, like you say, this would not break the simulation either way, then it doesn't matter.

 Last edit: 20/06/2016 08:14

Baalim   Mexico. Jun 20 2016 09:08. Posts 33875


  On June 18 2016 12:21 lucky331 wrote:
Show nested quote +



and if we're in a simulation, how do we know the difference?


We wouldnt know, but there are difference about motives, like why would you create a Truman show simulation with painful existence?, a full universe simulation wouldnt necessarily have that moral issue since it could simply be unintended result of a bigger than us simulation

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Liquid`Drone   Norway. Jun 20 2016 10:35. Posts 3020

The simulation argument, unlike god, doesn't necessarily have any painful existence though. Could be that all those suffering people are just included as one of the easiest ways of improving simulation experience - your own situation seems much better compared to those. Nobody is actually programmed to live a shitty simulation experience - all the suffering people are just figments of my simulation.

That is if all the simulations are individual and not interactive. I guess a fully interactive universe-simulation wouldn't work this way, but I'd also feel that this is less likely, somehow?

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Baalim   Mexico. Jun 21 2016 01:46. Posts 33875


  On June 20 2016 09:35 Liquid`Drone wrote:
The simulation argument, unlike god, doesn't necessarily have any painful existence though. Could be that all those suffering people are just included as one of the easiest ways of improving simulation experience - your own situation seems much better compared to those. Nobody is actually programmed to live a shitty simulation experience - all the suffering people are just figments of my simulation.

That is if all the simulations are individual and not interactive. I guess a fully interactive universe-simulation wouldn't work this way, but I'd also feel that this is less likely, somehow?



So you are arguing that others suffering makes us happier, it could be, but then why not make it more obvious, why not be kings in the world of medieval conditions if this is true, I mean, what would be the point of an isolated simulation if not happiness of the subject? and if it isnt happiness who would subject itself to such a long agony and for what purpose?


I cant think of many reasons why isolated simulations would be like this, full universe simulations sound more reasonable as to the existence of painful conditions but it is astronomically less likely that such a thing can even be computed

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Liquid`Drone   Norway. Jun 21 2016 16:58. Posts 3020

maybe the period just slightly before the breakthrough of simulation period is the one they are most capable of reproducing. and I mean, I think that my own life is pretty swell, and it has been. But it hasn't been completely free of unpleasantness either - I think there's been a pretty nice balance between negative experiences that enable me to appreciate the positive experiences etc. I'm not actually sure medieval kings (or persian god-kings to go even further) actually represent the apex of 'happiness', perhaps the apex of indulgence and hedonism, but I think happiness is different.. my idea is that if these were all isolated simulations, then everyone's life would be comparable to how my simulation in terms of how happy people are, nobody actually runs an agonizing simulation, and people claiming to have agonizing lives are not actually real people or real simulations, they just exist to make me feel better about my own situation. (And while I think that actual, real suffering will create real unhappiness, pretty much always, I think that in general, 'contentness with ones own situation' is an extremely relative feeling - but that's another topic, one I find interesting though. )

I do think you touch upon something really important and something that the pro-simulation argument followers kinda aren't factoring in to their equation though. like, 'the likelihood of people with simulation technology creating a simulation that looks just like our world, and not an improved simulation is close to 0' to put it in their terms.


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Baalim   Mexico. Jun 22 2016 01:11. Posts 33875

yeah I dont think medieval kings were the epitome of hapiness either, but you got the point

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FMLuser   Canada. Jun 22 2016 07:15. Posts 45


  On June 20 2016 01:14 RiKD wrote:

I would like to see Nick and Elon show their work.




http://www.simulation-argument.com/simulation.html

The math is under section 4 The core of the simulation argument, however he patched it several years later after some flaws were found

http://www.simulation-argument.com/patch.pdf


Smuft   Canada. Jun 24 2016 22:30. Posts 633

and so it begins....

http://www.scientificamerican.com/art...rgy-physics/?WT.mc_id=SA_FB_TECH_NEWS


Smuft   Canada. Jun 24 2016 23:26. Posts 633

I've wanted to make some more posts about this but haven't been in the mood, I'll make a very short version of the things I wanted to talk about here:

1. misconceptions on the parallels between the god argument and the simulation argument:

a few times throughout this thread people have said something along the lines of "asking others to disprove the simulation argument is like saying god exists because we can't prove he doesn't"

disagree because:

- there is a clear line between us where we currently are and being able to create these simulations ourselves, like if we extrapolate as best as we can from 2016 with our current knowledge and go into the future, it's very likely we will one day create these types of simulations

- this is not the case for the god argument where people believe on more or less "faith" (I know it's not that simple and
I'm sorry if I've offended anyone but if you start a god debate with me I already have "fold to any bet" clicked)

- the simulation argument doesn't say we live in a simulation, it just says there is a % chance that we do

- "the simulation argument" was published in an academic journal 13 years ago and after being peer reviewed and publicly discussed among enthusiastic lamens like us it still stands as a "sound argument"

- the reason why I ask people to find a problem with the core of the argument is because if it is true, it's very hard for a rational thinking person to flat reject that there is some % chance we live in a simulation


2. plexatron's post about mirrors and also similarly, simulations within simulations within simulations - stuff that may require an infinite amount of data to be processed (basically I just think the simulators would program in limits to these types of effects)

3. RiKD post about peoples subjective probabilities that we currently live in a simulation:

Here is what Bostrom said:


 
2. Do you really believe that we are in a computer simulation?

No. I believe that the simulation argument is basically sound. The argument shows only that at least one of three possibilities obtains, but it does not tell us which one(s). One can thus accept the simulation argument and reject the simulation hypothesis (i.e. that we are in a simulation).

Personally, I assign less than 50% probability to the simulation hypothesis – rather something like in 20%-region, perhaps, maybe.



I agree with others about Elon Musk saying "billions to 1" is ridiculous with the information we currently have. He really needed to give a better explanation of his position before throwing out that probability. However, if we ever do start running these simulations then "billions to 1 we live in base reality" sounds somewhere in the right ballpark to me. Considering how much time Musk has said he thought about this I'm sure he has a much better explanation for his position but it was beyond the scope of a live QA about random subjects.

Where do people get these numbers? more or less out of their ass. Kind of like in poker, with all the information we have available to us at the moment, what is the % chance this guy has a bluff? Same idea there are just a lot more variables that are much harder to quantify for a subjective guess on the simulation hypothesis.


Stroggoz   New Zealand. Jun 26 2016 22:58. Posts 4886

@Smuft

I suspect those people making the god analogy really just want to say that you need to provide evidence for something instead of asking others to disprove it, which is what you were doing. The god analogy probably comes from epistemologists like bertrand russell who used it to show the irrationality of arguments made by theists, so people associate god with it.

-you argued there was a 2/3 chance of being in a sim

-You far overate the legitimacy of academic journals. The paper was published in a philosophy journal. If you ever take a philosophy class, you will find that almost every philosopher will find flaws in arguments of other philosophers. Philosophers rarely agree on anything. And the good philosophers publish many journal articles admitting that their arguments are very weak.

I remember once a medical student independently discovered calculus recently (they didn't learn it in high school) and they got it published in a peer reviewed medical journal. And there are far worse things that get published in humanities journals-like a lot of post modernism for example.

Personally I also don't see any reason to believe in the sim argument anymore than the existence of god. Both have weak arguments in favor of them

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Smuft   Canada. Jun 27 2016 02:21. Posts 633


  On June 26 2016 21:58 Stroggoz wrote:
@Smuft

I suspect those people making the god analogy really just want to say that you need to provide evidence for something instead of asking others to disprove it, which is what you were doing. The god analogy probably comes from epistemologists like bertrand russell who used it to show the irrationality of arguments made by theists, so people associate god with it.



Agree that we cannot ask people to disprove statements like "there is a god" or "we live in a simulation" and if they cannot then it must be true. The burden of proof is on those that put forth such outrageous notions.

However, I'm not asking anyone to disprove a ridiculous notion. I'm asking you to find a problem in what I believe to be a sound argument; The Simulation Argument

An argument that details:

- it will very likely to be within our species capabilities to create these simulations
- if such simulations do exist, math showing the number of simulated experiences vastly outnumbers the nonsimulated
- computational resource assumptions
- consciousness assumptions
- conclusion with 3 propositions that takes everything into account:

"(1) The fraction of human-level civilizations that reach a posthuman stage is very close to zero; (2) The fraction of posthuman civilizations that are interested in running ancestor-simulations is very close to zero; (3) The fraction of all people with our kind of experiences that are living in a simulation is very close to one."


 
-you argued there was a 2/3 chance of being in a sim

-You far overate the legitimacy of academic journals. The paper was published in a philosophy journal. If you ever take a philosophy class, you will find that almost every philosopher will find flaws in arguments of other philosophers. Philosophers rarely agree on anything. And the good philosophers publish many journal articles admitting that their arguments are very weak.



2/3 is too high IMO, I said 35%. please be careful on the misquotes

just to be clear, this is a very subjective guess that I do not take seriously and could change drastically any day depending on what I learn

I agree about your comments on a lot of academic journals publishing shit papers and a paper being in one doesn't necessarily give it credibility. In this case the paper was published in Philosophy Quarterly which seems to be a top philosophy journal.

More importantly, it was written by a true bad ass IMO, Nick Bostrom, an oxford professor, author of superintelligence, and founder of a group of thinkers at oxford who think about existential risks. He may be one of the most important guys in preventing our whole species from being wiped out by something other people overlook or are completely oblivious to. He still supports the simulation argument and says "I believe it is basically sound".


 
Personally I also don't see any reason to believe in the sim argument anymore than the existence of god. Both have weak arguments in favor of them



Do you mean "weak" in some kind of formal sense in that it cannot be proven?

What are the specific reasons you think we should reject the simulation argument?

 Last edit: 27/06/2016 02:25

FMLuser   Canada. Jun 27 2016 11:20. Posts 45


  On June 27 2016 01:21 Smuft wrote:
An argument that details:

- it will very likely to be within our species capabilities to create these simulations
- if such simulations do exist, math showing the number of simulated experiences vastly outnumbers the nonsimulated
- computational resource assumptions
- consciousness assumptions
- conclusion with 3 propositions that takes everything into account:

"(1) The fraction of human-level civilizations that reach a posthuman stage is very close to zero; (2) The fraction of posthuman civilizations that are interested in running ancestor-simulations is very close to zero; (3) The fraction of all people with our kind of experiences that are living in a simulation is very close to one."





Your breakdown of the argument is not accurate.
H = consciousness/computational assumptions
1/2/3 = outcomes that Bostroms suggest
P = probability of being a simulation
S = we are simulations

If H then ( 1 or 2 or 3)
If 3 then P
If P then S
Therefore S

I believe the argument is valid but unsound. There are problems with H but the big problem is with P. If I put forward some mathematically theory and it is untestable how can we be sure of its accuracy. Newtons Laws for motion and gravity were used for a long time however those laws predicted a planet in between Mercury and the Sun, Einstien comes along and puts forward a better equation they test it and it predicts Mercury's orbit perfectly. Bostrom cant be sure he has access to all the right information if S is true. Say for example there are some kind of constraints in the origin world that limit the number of simulations, so we are simulations but Bostroms prediction of the probability that we are simulations is wrong. Lets just suppose that we are part of a simulation but not ancestral simulations but a physics simulation. It is likely that the experimenters would change some fundamental variable to see what happens. Since H relies on the physics of this universe we can't really say anything about the number of possible simulations without knowing if H is similar to origin universe. Its also much more likely that we will run physics simulations before we start running ancestral simulations(At the current time we are collecting huge amounts of data about our lives for future historians to go over making pointless to run a historical simulation). So if we include the number of physics simulations where life may not be possible and are empty of people then the probability will be much different. There could be many simulations but only 1 includes life but the number of people that lived in the origin universe is 10 times the number that live in the simulation.


Smuft   Canada. Jun 27 2016 22:18. Posts 633

I like your breakdown better since you shows the relationship between the major points in the argument in a simple enough way that a laymen can understand.


 
I believe the argument is valid but unsound. There are problems with H but the big problem is with P. If I put forward some mathematically theory and it is untestable how can we be sure of its accuracy. Newtons Laws for motion and gravity were used for a long time however those laws predicted a planet in between Mercury and the Sun, Einstien comes along and puts forward a better equation they test it and it predicts Mercury's orbit perfectly.



Agree the assumptions in H could have problems. We don't know for sure what consciousness is and we don't know for sure what the limits of our computational power will be. However, I think Bostrom made reasonable assumptions that the majority of experts in those fields would agree with. Not to say they can't be wrong but it's more likely they are not.

Unfortunately P likely won't ever be testable since we can never have all the information available to us. So instead we have to determine what is most likely to be true and be ready to make changes to that determination as we think and learn more about our world (as Bostrom did in the patch that you linked a few posts back). Also remember that as it stands now P is a huge number, say "billions to 1" so even if you find some small problem that would effect how many simulations are run in the future, it may only change P to millions/thousands to 1 which. As humans that is almost an irrelevant change.

Even if you found a large enough problem that our assumptions lead to the average number of simulated vs non-simulated experiences become 1 to 1, it still doesn't break the argument completely, it just changes the %'s.

ex. If P then 50% S and 50% (2)


 
Bostrom cant be sure he has access to all the right information if S is true. Say for example there are some kind of constraints in the origin world that limit the number of simulations, so we are simulations but Bostroms prediction of the probability that we are simulations is wrong. Lets just suppose that we are part of a simulation but not ancestral simulations but a physics simulation. It is likely that the experimenters would change some fundamental variable to see what happens. Since H relies on the physics of this universe we can't really say anything about the number of possible simulations without knowing if H is similar to origin universe. Its also much more likely that we will run physics simulations before we start running ancestral simulations(At the current time we are collecting huge amounts of data about our lives for future historians to go over making pointless to run a historical simulation). So if we include the number of physics simulations where life may not be possible and are empty of people then the probability will be much different.



(this doesn't really make sense to me and I could easily be misinterpreting you, work on your writing bro)

You started off this part saying "suppose we live in a physics simulation"

...and then ended it saying "physics simulations where life may not be possible and are empty of people"

???

Physics simulations that do not include life (we already run simple versions of this today) are not included in the ancestor simulations Bostrom refers to.


 
There could be many simulations but only 1 includes life but the number of people that lived in the origin universe is 10 times the number that live in the simulation.



Possible but IMO unlikely, plexatron tried to put forth some arguments that included this effect. I decided not to go any deeper down that rabbit hole as an entire thread could be devoted to theorizing the possibility of each scenario. I haven't come across any that are plausible to me. The main reason why I don't find them plausible is because they usually include a scenario where there are an extremely large number of humans like us in "base reality" but I believe the number of simulations being run scales with the number of humans so I find these types of scenarios unconvincing.


PIetraxon   . Jun 29 2016 12:31. Posts 8


  - it will very likely to be within our species capabilities to create these simulations
- if such simulations do exist, math showing the number of simulated experiences vastly outnumbers the nonsimulated
- computational resource assumptions
- consciousness assumptions
- conclusion with 3 propositions that takes everything into account:



That's the thing though; I don't see the logic behind the bolded part, because the math assumes that there are only two possibilities:

1) We are living in a simulation
2) We are living in just one possible ancestor world

If this assumption were true, I would accept the argument and move on. But I don't think it's true and I would propose that there are other options available (such as the existence of an infinite number of similar ancestor worlds at various points in space-time, as well as artificial human-resembling lifeforms - the things I mentioned earlier), which I think would completely turn the argument on its head. In other words: if we ever managed to create the technology required to run such a simulation, then to calculate the probability of us being in a simulation we need to take into account:

1) The probability of us living in one of infinite iterations of (ancestor) humanities.
2) The probability of us living in one of infinite artificial human worlds.
3) The probability of us living in one of infinite simulations.
4) The probability of us living in one of infinite.... (other stuff we haven't even come up with yet due to limited knowledge)

But even if this assumption that it's either one ancestor world or a simulation were true, then..


  2. plexatron's post about mirrors and also similarly, simulations within simulations within simulations - stuff that may require an infinite amount of data to be processed (basically I just think the simulators would program in limits to these types of effects)



Okay, but now there is a burden of proof on proponents of the argument; they would need to prove that there isn't an infinite number of reflections between two mirrors (something that we've been taking for granted so far). Is it only me who sees a huge problem with this?

1) We are proposing that we might be living in a simulation.
2) Our science dictates that two mirrors placed in front of each other would generate an infinite number of reflections.

If we assume that an infinite number of reflections should cause a simulation to break down, don't we have a contradiction here? Basically, both 1) and 2) can't be correct at the same time, and out of the two we have only proven one to be correct - number 2.

 Last edit: 29/06/2016 12:52

FMLuser   Canada. Jun 30 2016 06:49. Posts 45


  On June 29 2016 11:31 PIetraxon wrote:

If we assume that an infinite number of reflections should cause a simulation to break down, don't we have a contradiction here? Basically, both 1) and 2) can't be correct at the same time, and out of the two we have only proven one to be correct - number 2.



I don't think we get an infinite number of reflections, the light is mostly reflected from one mirror and back to the other but a portion of the light gets absorbed each time so as this process goes on the image will become blurry. If you had a surface that perfectly reflected the light, then you would get infinite images I am not sure we have that though

 Last edit: 30/06/2016 07:20

PIetraxon   . Jun 30 2016 10:14. Posts 8


  On June 30 2016 05:49 FMLuser wrote:
Show nested quote +



I don't think we get an infinite number of reflections, the light is mostly reflected from one mirror and back to the other but a portion of the light gets absorbed each time so as this process goes on the image will become blurry. If you had a surface that perfectly reflected the light, then you would get infinite images I am not sure we have that though


But does the amount of light ever get to zero? As far as I understand, it's as you say - but even as light is "lost" with each reflection, and it approaches 0, it never quite gets there. So while the reflections become infinitely weak, there would still be an infinite number of them.


RiKD    United States. Jul 29 2021 04:47. Posts 6789

I came across the infamous Elon: "1 in a billion we are in base reality" and then bullying anyone in the audience to "Prove me wrong (bro)" on an unfalsifiable claim LOL HA! Brought back memories to this thread. Elon's argument was 1 day we have Ms. Pacman now we have World of Warcraft... 1 in a billion we are in base reality... Prove me wrong (bro)! (HA!)

Made me think of this thread.


lostaccount   Canada. Jul 30 2021 03:02. Posts 3546

I believe we live in a simulation aka as the matrix. Take some lsd or dmt

love life love othersLast edit: 30/07/2021 03:10

Stroggoz   New Zealand. Jul 30 2021 08:50. Posts 4886


  On July 29 2021 03:47 RiKD wrote:
I came across the infamous Elon: "1 in a billion we are in base reality" and then bullying anyone in the audience to "Prove me wrong (bro)" on an unfalsifiable claim LOL HA! Brought back memories to this thread. Elon's argument was 1 day we have Ms. Pacman now we have World of Warcraft... 1 in a billion we are in base reality... Prove me wrong (bro)! (HA!)

Made me think of this thread.



Eh, to me the theory is not really creative or interesting enough for it to be true, it's essentially like most other creationist stories imo. It's inconsistent that any silicon valley nerds would place much stock in this belief since a large part of theoretical computer science over the last 30-40 years has been involved in proving that a big chunk of questions that we come up with are impossible to solve by a computer. (So long as NP is not equal to P, and almost every mathematician believes that to be the case). I wish there was more appreciation for the fact that mathematicians have been proving many things are impossible and even impossible to know if they are impossible, over the last century. For some reason believing that computers can do everything when in fact the theory says they can do very little-these people who believe this seem more informed by science fiction than actual science.

supposed to have greenstar not braceletLast edit: 30/07/2021 08:54

CrownRoyal   Oman. Jul 30 2021 19:57. Posts 11380

Obviously if you're trying to actually simulate every atom in the universe a computer cannot do that. I would argue that is not even what is represented by reality all around you.

Whether coincidental or not there are things you cannot really debate that show the universe does not always simulate everything at once.

Just a simple look at the double slit experiment or the fact that there is a refresh rate on reality should be enough to show that.


I'm not a big fan of simulation theory or string theory because neither can ever have any merit beyond theory but to just dismiss it as science fiction seems as ignorant as believing it. Agnostic takes are always better when evidence is not available.

WHAT IS THIS 

Stroggoz   New Zealand. Jul 31 2021 03:02. Posts 4886


  On July 30 2021 18:57 CrownRoyal wrote:
Obviously if you're trying to actually simulate every atom in the universe a computer cannot do that. I would argue that is not even what is represented by reality all around you.

Whether coincidental or not there are things you cannot really debate that show the universe does not always simulate everything at once.

Just a simple look at the double slit experiment or the fact that there is a refresh rate on reality should be enough to show that.


I'm not a big fan of simulation theory or string theory because neither can ever have any merit beyond theory but to just dismiss it as science fiction seems as ignorant as believing it. Agnostic takes are always better when evidence is not available.



you're not taking an agnostic approach though-your claiming that it's not on the level of science fiction.

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RiKD    United States. Jul 31 2021 03:20. Posts 6789

To be fair, I remember reading Bostrom's paper ages ago and it was quite fun. If I remember correctly Bostrom's math was higher than total science fiction but at least he is out in the world doing stuff.

I wonder if Bostrom wrote the paper before this NP is not P stuff.

Seems like NP is not P makes a lot of stuff science fiction.

-quantum computing
-simulation
-probably ai
-others?

Unfortunately, climate change and nuclear war are still here to stay.

Thinking too much about existential crisis out of my control makes me sad so bye.


Stroggoz   New Zealand. Jul 31 2021 09:01. Posts 4886

I had to teach myself complexity theory for my research project so I know a little about it.

He certainly did not write the paper before the NP is not P question, it's been a big question since around the 70's, when Cook-Levin proved that every computer language that can be run by a non-deterministic Turing machine is polynomial-time reducible to the satisfiability question. What that means in plain English is that there is a class of problems that we can prove are essentially equivalent to each other in terms of difficulty, and the proof of this was by showing that you can reduce every computer language down to the question "is this statement true?". That's what satisfiability means in mathematical logic. If you can prove that any one of these problems can be run on a deterministic turing machine in roughly the same amount of time, then all of these difficult problems suddenly become easy problems. Since the 1970's there have been thousands of problems that have been proven to be in this difficult class, and not a single one has been found to be reducible to a deterministic Turing machine. If any of them did, then NP=P. On top of this huge failure rate, there is a lot of other evidence to suggest that NP is not equal to P. Quantum computing is a very small topic in theoretical computer science, i haven't really bothered to learn it because it's not relevant to my interests, and apparently, there is a big misconception about them, classical computers are better than quantum computers for a lot of tasks apparently. There appears to be a lot of media sensationalist bullshit surrounding quantum computing, it's a pretty big buzzword over the past 10 years.

But none of this stuff is really that relevant, my dismissal of this topic basically comes down to common sense intuition. I mean, reading his trichotomy paper, it seems obvious to me that one of those cases is near 100% close to being true and the other two are ridiculous.

supposed to have greenstar not bracelet 

Stroggoz   New Zealand. Jul 31 2021 09:06. Posts 4886

also idk what the hell people are talking about with mirrors in this thread, but it's pretty obvious that you can have at the bare minimum-an uncountably infinite number of reflections using mirrors. Roger penrose actually came up with particular shapes where you can bounce light off the boundary of the shape and it doesn't hit every point in the boundary, it's quite an interesting research topic in mathematics and there is a good amount of literature on it.

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